Our 2011 NASCAR season had been an extremely frustrating one… but our family had also suffered through a lot of personal challenges… Pat summed up the frustration we felt one night when we were talking at home: “It just keeps coming, doesn’t it,” she said. I looked her right in the eyes and all I could say is, “It seems that way.”
Now, as you read through this devotional, or if you’ve read my book Game Plan for Life, you know I’m not exactly a stranger to trying situations, but this was an easy top-five on my adversity list. What were my feelings at the time? My first response was, “Oh my gosh — this is overwhelming!” Next came discouragement, which some say is the devil’s greatest weapon, and something I really have to fight against. Then, as it all came together, I became fearful. As is often the case, some of the visitors to our website, www.gameplanforlife.com, could relate to my situation. We have received postings where visitors were so discouraged they didn’t think they could make it another day.
I wonder, are you going through adversity like this? If so, there is a silver lining to my story: even in the worst of times, I have tried to discipline myself to read the Bible daily and to lay out my concerns in prayer to the Lord. As I went through this rocky period, I can honestly tell you that God’s Word seemed to come alive to me, providing insights and encouragement that lifted my spirits. I hope that by sharing a few of the things that Scripture revealed to me, you’ll be blessed.
First, one verse jumped right out to me and really spoke to my heart. In John 14:27 God says, “My peace I give you.” He offers a peace that the world does not give — that your heart may not be troubled or fearful. If you are going through tough times, make sure you memorize this verse. It sure was an encouragement to me.
Second, I was reminded to stay focused on Him and not on human beings. Many times other people do … what? They disappoint us. We need to stay focused on the Lord…
Third, we have to remember that God says in His Word that He loves us more than we love our own children or grandchildren. In fact, He loves us more than we love ourselves [see Romans 8:38-39].
What does this tell us? That we have an all-powerful God who loves us, and if we ask Him to come into our life, there is nothing that can separate us from His love. Isn’t that a great statement?
So many times when we find ourselves in the middle of adversity, we begin to feel overwhelmed and discouragement starts to take over. It is especially tough when the trials just seem to keep on coming. But if we just take a little time and connect with the God who gives us peace, who is more faithful than any human being, who loves us more than we love ourselves, He will help us make it through the worst of the storms.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for granting me a peace unlike any other. Thank You for being faithful and unfailing, unlike any human being. Thank You for loving me more than I love my family or myself. Grant me the courage to make it through this time and strengthen my faith during this troubling time. Amen.