- How do you deal with challenges in your life?
- Name three people you talk to on a regular basis.
- Describe your relationship with them.
- Recall a time when someone helped you get through a tough situation.
- What happened?
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have
trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
A righteous man may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all. Psalm 34:19
Jesus did not promise a trouble-free life for His followers. In fact, He promised that in this world we would always have troubles, trials, and persecution. The question most people ask in tough times is: “Why me?” Instead, we should be asking: “How can I respond in a way that honors God?” Let’s look at what the Bible says we can do to endure tough times and glorify God in the midst of them
- Read God’s Word.
If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction. Psalm 119:92.
Many suffer spiritual shipwreck during tough times, but God’s Word is a solid foundation for us no matter what difficulties we will face.
2. Respond with joy.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4
Joy in the midst of a trial seems like an impossible order. If we understand the end result of a trial, then we might be able to respond with joy.
3. Receive trials as character builders that remain in our lives temporarily.
Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. Romans 5:3,4
One goal of the Christian life is to become more Christ like in our character.
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:17,18.
Though tough times seem to last forever while we are going through them, they are really only momentary, or temporary.
4. Reach out to others who are experiencing tough times.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. 2 Corinthians 1:3,4
Our God is the “Father of compassion and the God of all comfort.”
a. How does God’s Word help you endure tough times?
b. How do you respond in a tough time?
c. How can you respond with joy?
d. Recall a difficult experience you went through that helped build your character.
e. What did God teach you during this time?
f . How have you reached out to people in tough times?
g. How have others reached out to help you?
- Are you reading God’s Word every day? If not, do you want to begin doing so this week?
- Set a time and place for daily Bible reading.
- You may want to start with John’s Gospel.
- Are you presently experiencing tough times?
- Would you like to tell us about what is going on?
- How do you think God is asking you to respond?
- What areas of your character is God currently developing?
- How can you become more like Christ in these specific areas?
- Do you know of anyone who is going through a tough time right now?
- What can you do to help and comfort them this week?
- Make a decision to prioritize God’s Word in your life.
- Pray the Spirit of wisdom and revelation to be upon you so that you may know Him better.
- Pray for the joy of the Lord to be upon you and those you know who are experiencing tough times.
- Ask God to develop your character in a greater way and to make you more like Christ every day.
- Commit to respond to trials (present and future) in a way that honors God.
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