I have a message for you: God loves you. He is on your side. Through His Holy Spirit He wants to lead you and guide you. Getting through difficult times is not impossible. All those obstacles you see, He will get you through them, over them, around them. Just trust in Him and keep walking. No mountain is too high. No river is too deep. He will provide a way.
As I was preparing this, I opened my Bible to some scriptures that I had circled. The last verse, verse 24 of Psalm 31, is what this message is all about. So be strong and take courage all you who put your hope in the Lord!
Next to it, I had marked: Psalm 33: 18-22 The Lord watches over those who fear him, those who rely on his unfailing love. He rescues them from death and keeps them alive in times of famine.
Then this one I love: Psalm 34: 17-19 The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the broken hearted; He rescues those who are crushed in spirit. The righteous face many troubles, but the Lord rescues them from each and every one.
Some of us have a hard time accepting and believing that God loves us because family members and/or others have rejected us or hurt us very badly. We feel we don’t deserve His love. If you have asked God to forgive you, you are forgiven! God casts your sins as far as the East is from the West (Psalm 103:12)… and that’s a long way. He forgets them and that’s that!
Once we know we are truly forgiven and that God is on our side, we start to become overcomers. Romans 8:31 says If God is for us, who can be against us? Once we get that picture in our hearts, we begin to trust more. We begin to expect good things to happen, instead of the difficulties that have been plaguing us.
Once you have hope in your heart, you stop looking at the difficulty. You stop fearing the difficulty. You get a sense of expectancy. Instead of thinking defeat, you start to think, “I wonder how God is going to meet my need. I know He has a plan!”
King David’s Tough Times
King David, the author of many of the Psalms, went through some very hard times. He made some very big mistakes. He committed adultery and murder. Yet God forgave him and used him mightily. Reading the Bible’s Book of Psalms is a source of great comfort when you are going through tough times.
David had lots of enemies and difficulties. His cries to God are from the heart. His mistakes were big ones yet he stayed close to God because he recognized his mistakes and asked for forgiveness.
One of the things David did was to “encourage himself in the Lord.” He did this by remembering his previous difficulties and the ways in which God had miraculously saved him. For example, David was saved many times from being murdered by King Saul. There is also a great story about the destruction of the town of Ziglag. David and his men chased the enemy and got back their wives and families and all their possessions that had been stolen. See 1 Samuel 30.
Steps to Overcoming
Cry out to God and ask for His help. Put the problem in His hands. The battle is the Lord’s, according to 2 Chronicles 20:15. You don’t need to say any fancy prayers. Just yell HELP LORD and He’ll hear you.
Read the Bible, especially Psalms. Find a Psalm or a verse that comforts you and assures you that God is working on your behalf. Repeat it whenever you feel discouraged – the more you repeat it the better.
Resist the devil when he tries to bring the problem back to your mind, refuse to receive it. Instead tell him what God’s Word says about your problem.
For example, if your problems are finances and the devil tries to remind you of the rent that’s due Monday, tell him – devil you’re a liar. My God will supply all my needs according to his riches in Christ Jesus. He owns the cattle on a thousand hills. I guess He can pay my measly rent! I’m not listening to your lies! (Philippians 4:19, Psalm 50:10)
The devil will keep trying. But if you keep telling him off, he’ll finally leave. And when God comes through for you on Sunday night, you can rejoice!
If your body is sick, the devil might say, “It’s probably cancer. Your Aunt had cancer you know. It’s in your family. But you answer. “Devil – get off of my back. This little lump isn’t cancer. I am going to the doctor’s to check it out. But devil, my God is a healing God. He loves me and by His stripes I am healed. (Isaiah 53:5) so bug off!”
God Wants Us Free
God wants us free. Why? So we can help others get free. If you really want to bug the devil, in the midst of your difficulties, drop everything and go and help someone else!
When you get through difficult times God’s way, you begin to realize just who your Father in heaven is – that He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! … That He loves you very much and He wants you to become an Overcomer. He wants you to use the Word of God as a weapon against your problems.
The Word of God is not just something to listen to on Sunday in church. It is life. It brings life. It defeats the devil in your life. Learn it and use it.
Let’s say this prayer together.
Dear Heavenly Father,
I love You. I want to learn Your ways.
Help me to learn Your Word and use it
as a weapon against my problems.
Help me to shed the old image of myself
that I am unworthy, unloved and hurting.
The opposite is true. I am a loved and cherished
son/daughter of Jesus Christ – Lord of Lords and King of Kings.
Give me a love for others, especially for those who have hurt me.
Help me to forgive them.
Bless and protect me and my family and help me to help others.
Guide me in everything I do.
I ask these things in Jesus name.
If you haven’t asked Jesus to be your Lord and Savior, say the following prayer. God needs to be asked into your life. He won’t just barge in.
I am tired of struggling. I have done things my way
and they haven’t worked.
I am ready to try things Your way.
Forgive my sins and set me free of my past.
Fill me with Your Holy Spirit.
Guide me and direct me in all that I do.
DLH – January 12, 1998
The Root Cellar Women’s Breakfast