Sticking It Out Through the Hard Times

Sticking It Out Through the Hard Times

dealing with pain
A new week is here. Are you ready? Are you filled with enthusiasm and fresh courage? Don’t worry if you are not. If you’re dealing with pain or wandering in desert: It is all right. The main thing is to be authentic, to not deny your suffering. There are no quick fixes. But even when we are out of enthusiasm and fresh courage we are not out of mercy. Even when we are out of energy and clear guidance we are not out of hope.

I’ll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness,
   the taste of ashes, the poison I’ve swallowed.
I remember it all—oh, how well I remember—
   the feeling of hitting the bottom.
But there’s one other thing I remember,
   and remembering, I keep a grip on hope:

God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out,
   his merciful love couldn’t have dried up.
They’re created new every morning.
   How great your faithfulness!
I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over).
   He’s all I’ve got left.

God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits,

   to the woman who diligently seeks.
It’s a good thing to quietly hope,
   quietly hope for help from God.
It’s a good thing when you’re young
   to stick it out through the hard times.
(Lamentations 3:19-27, MSG, emphasis added)

When it’s our time to face some hard times we are to keep a firm grip on hope. I have experienced times in my life that everything else than God was taken away from me. But God was more than enough. God’s love does not run out. New mercy is created every morning. When storms race in our hearts and in our lives we are called to stick it out. We are called to wait passionately, seek diligently, and hope quietly.

When life is heavy and hard to take,
   go off by yourself. Enter the silence.
Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions:
   Wait for hope to appear.
Don’t run from trouble. Take it full-face.
   The “worst” is never the worst.
(Lamentations 3: 28-3o, MSG, emphasis added)

God will never leave us or forsake us. We can count on his love, his mercy, his grace. We can count on God being with us no matter what is going on in our lives. When life is heavy and hard to take we are counseled to take time to sit with God, bow in prayer, and wait for hope to appear. We are advised to not to run from trouble but take it full-face. We need to stick through it.

When we embrace suffering we encounter Christ in a new level. When we give even our troubles, hurts, and difficulties to God we encounter God’s love and grace in a new way. When we surrender to God, day after day, in storms and in sunshine, we encounter the presence of the Holy Spirit in surprising ways.

Asking questions and fretting over not receiving answers does no good to our souls. Rainer Maria Rilke has expressed this so eloquently in his Letter to a Young Poet: “…I would like to beg you dear Sir, as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.”

There is indeed time for everything. In due time we will find the answers. In due time a new dawn will appear. In due time even hardships will pass. Meanwhile, trust God, keep a firm grip on hope. It’s going to be all right.

“I called out your name, O God,
   called from the bottom of the pit.
You listened when I called out, ‘Don’t shut your ears!
   Get me out of here! Save me!’
You came close when I called out.
   You said, ‘It’s going to be all right.’
(Lamentations 3: 55-57, MSG)

That’s enough to build up courage for this new week.
That’s enough mercy to cling to joyous hope.
That’s enough to keep on keeping on.
Thank you, Jesus!

 

Gracious God,
Hold on to us when the storms in our lives are fierce!
Hold on to us when life seems like a struggle.
Hold on to us when life is heavy and hard to take.
Give us enough grace to keep on keeping on.
Give us enough courage to stick it out through tough times.
Give us enough grace to keep a firm grip on hope everlasting!
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Q4U: How do you ride the storms in your life?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you keep on a firm grip on hope. God is faithful. God’s mercy is new every morning. No matter of what…it’s going to be all right!

Image courtesy of Marian Trinidad. Linking up with Sharing His Beauty & Multitude on Mondays

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