All of us have had to face dark times and needed encouragement. I would like to share with you an article written by Rick Warren, pastor at Saddleback Church.
“For those God foreknew He also predestines to be conformed to the likeness of His Son,” (Romans 8:29).
God wants you to develop the character of Christ. As God makes you like Christ, He will take you through all the circumstances of life He took Christ through. Was Jesus exempt from suffering? Was Jesus sometimes lonely? Was He tempted to be discouraged? Was He misunderstood, maligned and criticized unjustly? What makes you think you’re going to be exempted from these things?
God is more interested in your character than your comfort. He has more concern about your holiness than your happiness. You are going to go through dark times and God can use them for good in your life and your witness.
What should we do when we go through difficult times?
• Refuse to be discouraged. David said, “I will fear no evil (Psalm 23:4). The word “will” implies a choice, an act of decision.
• Remember that God is with you. David said, “For you are with me” (Psalm 23:4). God not only promises His power, He promises His presence. We will never go through a dark day alone.
• Rely on God’s protection and guidance. David said in Psalm 23:4 that God’s rod and staff comforted him. The rod and staff were basic tools of a shepherd used to protect and guide the sheep. God will be with you, and He’ll protect and guide you.
Believers and nonbelievers go through the same difficult times. The difference for the Christian is not the absence of the shadows, but the presence of the light.”
I hope this encourages you during your tough times this week.
Dr. David Bouler of Global Faith Ministries, Chattanooga, Tennessee, contributed this column to the Journal Review. He can be reached by email at email@example.com.