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JFH Devotionals by J.M. Farro

Our Heavenly Resources for Difficult Times

"The good man does not escape all troubles--he has them too. But the Lord helps him in each and every one."
- Psalm 34:19 TLB

When I was faced with the possibility of having to deal with a very troubling situation recently, the Lord led me to make a list of some of the resources I have in Christ that could protect me from discouragement and despair. As I meditated on these heavenly resources, my feelings of panic began to subside, and my sense of hope began to spring forth.

The first thing I reminded myself was that in troubling times, I will have Godís presence. Jesus said, "Be sure of this--that I am with you always, even to the end of the world." (Matthew 28:20 TLB) Our Savior is not a fair-weather friend. Even in our darkest times, He will be there for us. He is always available to listen to whatever we have to say, and we can always count on Him for help. When even our closest loved ones turn their backs on us, the Lord speaks to our hearts and says: "I will not abandon you or leave you as orphans in the stormóI will come to you." (John 14:18 TLB)

Godís power is also available to us in difficult times. The apostle Paul prayed "that you may be invigorated and strengthened with all power according to the might of His glory, [to exercise] every kind of endurance and patience (perseverance and forbearance) with joy." (Colossians 1:11 AMP) We can pray this same Holy-Spirit-inspired prayer, knowing that God has promised to answer every petition that is in line with His will. (1 John 5:14-15) It was Paul who declared, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13 NKJV) When you and I make the same faith-filled declaration, we will experience the same divine power that sustained this great man of God in the darkest of times.

We also have the privilege of prayer in times of adversity. Jesus said: "When you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." (Matthew 6:6 NIV) Donít miss what the Savior is saying hereóthat there are great rewards for prayer. Some of those rewards may be divine peace, joy, and contentment, right in the midst of painful circumstances. Other rewards can include seeing God move mightily on our behalf in ways that we donít expect. But perhaps the best reward of all will be witnessing the Lord causing all of our problems to profit us in amazing ways. (Romans 8:28)

Godís promises are another divine resource that is at our disposal in hard times. Paul wrote: "The Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God's promises to be fulfilled." (Romans 15:4 NLT) Years ago, I heard a godly man say that the promises of God will always give us hope in "hopeless" situations. Since then, I have tested this principle again and again, and Iíve discovered that itís true in every case.

Godís people can also be a tremendous benefit to us in difficult times. Paul knew this when he wrote: "I am going to keep on being glad, for I know that as you pray for me, and as the Holy Spirit helps me, this is all going to turn out for my good." (Philippians 1:19 TLB) The prayers of fellow followers of Christ can be "powerful and effective," and we should never hesitate to call upon these precious people in our times of need. (James 5:16 NIV) Are you making the most of your heavenly resources today?

Prayer: Lord, when I am facing difficult circumstances, show me how to rely on Your presence, Your power, and Your promises. Teach me how to pray the prayers of Your heart, so that I may receive Your best in every situation. Thank You for equipping me with everything I need to gain the victory in times of trouble!

- J. M. Farro


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