A wonderful believer was recounting a very serious family difficulty and remarked that in looking back on the tragic time, she saw where she would crumble in her trust that Yahweh would provide relief from the pain. But, being the steadfast believer she is, this was short-lived. The reason for the quick turn-around was, she claims, due to her committed love relationship with Yahweh. Spending time in prayer and meditation on the Scriptures made the hard time much easier to get through. It reminded me of how preparation is so important to daily activities. How do we keep ourselves in the new man nature, even when times are tumultuous?
Psalm 119:11 Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You.
First, we need to have the Scriptures in our heart so that we think of them right away. They need to be our “near memories”. So many times, we rehearse over and over the negatives of the day such as: this went wrong; I was sick; people don’t understand me; I’m too tired, etc. The thoughts we rehearse the most are the ones that we will remember first. If you are thinking about how much God loves you and put your events in that context, then when an event happens, your brain will retrieve first that God loves you. This is a comfort to you and will put a difficult event in a godly perspective. It also keeps you from getting anxious so that you can receive Yahweh’s wisdom about the situation.
Second, when we are in the middle of hardship circumstances, we tend to fall back into our old man nature (the old man nature is the carnal lusts of the flesh) by trying to control the situation. Having rehearsed and rehearsed the goodness of Yahweh and how He never leaves us or forsakes us brings quickly to our minds that we are safe and He will get us through.
Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.
Meditating on this verse over and over, while asking Yahweh for insight and understanding for you, will help you to sidestep a long, sad, difficult emotional time in a bad space. We snap back faster, and we are able to be much more proactive with godly resolve when we have the Word in our hearts.
Third, we need to remember we are not Yahweh or Jesus Christ and we do not know the whole story of the problems. Our old man nature tendency is to think we know it all and even know what it is that Yahweh is doing or not doing. The truth of the matter is we do not know and will not know unless we ask Yahweh to show us what it is that we need to know. We cannot understand His ways because they are too high for us. We can only understand that part that He gives us, and we are to grab onto that knowledge and be content with that.
Moses, standing on the land next to the Red Sea with around 2 million men, women, and children, livestock, carts, and all their worldly goods to cross over the Red Sea and seeing the dust of the chariots from the formidable Egyptian army fast approaching, certainly needed to remember Yahweh knew the whole story, beginning to end. Moses needed to remember that His part was to obey what Yahweh told him to do. He held the rod in the air, and Yahweh parted the Sea. When we are in crisis situations, do we go to controlling and anxiety? If we have done steps one and two, keep the Word in our hearts and do not try to figure out what to do ourselves, we will have a godly outcome.
Four, praying is vital. During prayer time, Yahweh and Jesus Christ will teach you what you need to know, comfort your heart, listen to your concerns, and heal your pains and woes. During prayer time, silence is vital for being able to actually hear from Yahweh what He has for you. It is so hard for us to be still when we are so sad, hurt, pained or grieved. Being silent makes us good listeners. We focus on Yahweh instead of what we need and want. He is faithful to answer our prayers. After we pray, we need to anticipate His answers and not be asleep by taking back control and working it out on our own.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 pray without ceasing;
Five, living a Christ-infused life keeps us in obedience to the Scriptures. It is one thing to say we love Yahweh and Jesus Christ, but yet another to obey as Christ taught us. We get caught up in thinking we “know better” or I “feel” like this is what I want to do. Neither statement is helpful. We do not “know better” and our “feelings” can take us down a wrong road to disaster.
Sometimes our dire circumstances are because of sin in our lives. When we sin, there are consequences. Even though we may be out of the sin pattern, some of the consequences are still far reaching. We need Yahweh to get us through. Hating evil and sin, living a holy life will greatly help us to stay the course when we are suffering.
Six, sometimes the things Yahweh is telling us to do we do not want to do. It may seem too difficult or unreasonable. If you are unable to forgive in a situation, Yahweh is not able to work because of your sinful response. We may not see the value in doing what it is that we know we are to do because we do not see the big picture. It does not matter if we see the whole picture. What matters is that we ask Yahweh; He answers; we listen and obey completely. This is not a way of being that just happens all at once in one prayer. It could. Yahweh is after all Yahweh, but normally we build this relationship day after day so that when the chips are down, we are ready to respond with righteousness.
Seven, we become aware of His presence and His working when we follow through and look around to see what has transpired. This builds us up, helps us to trust more and have faith. Moses certainly was encouraged and thankful when he saw the Israelites and all their belongings on the other side of the Red Sea and the enemy defeated. Not one Israelite was killed. What a miracle! Yahweh works with us for miracles each day.
This article has mostly mentioned difficult times from relationships or environmental issues. Our goal as mature Christians is to be ambassadors for Christ. Maturing past the lusts of the flesh and the consequences of sin, we strive to do Yahweh’s Kingdom work. We want to enter into Yahweh’s plan of the coming Kingdom, and as such, we need to see where Yahweh wants us to be. He will enable us to do the tasks He asks of us. We may get into what looks like untenable situations; yet, when we look to Him and His Son, we will be victorious through our obedience to them. As we keep the sinful old man nature at bay, we are able to keep godly thoughts in the foremost of our thinking. We pray in faith knowing that He answers prayer. Our assisting in the plan of salvation and bringing people to Christ is when we have matured into being a disciple of Christ.
My friend, who in the middle of her circumstances became weary and war torn, was able to grab ahold of her thinking, bring it back to the Word she knew, pray as she knew to do, and experience Yahweh’s deliverance. In the good times and not so good, practice these steps to retain the habit of rehearsing the praises of Yahweh in every situation. The following are some verses for meditation.
John 14:1 Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.
Psalm 138:7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; you will stretch forth Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and Your right hand will save me.
Psalm 73:26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. 000