By: Woman of Joy-Kathy Hutto
Life can be tough. At times, life can be tougher. My tough became tougher when my husband announced he was leaving our marriage eleven years ago. It hasn't gotten easier since. I discovered that when tough gets tougher, joy gets greater. There's something very peaceful about relying on the Lord in the midst of chaos. When He is all you have, you discover that He is all you really need.
The Lord prepared us in advance in His Word that in this life we will have tough times.
“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, NIV
Did you notice in this verse that He told us so that we can have what? Peace. Jesus had just told his disciples that He was going to leave them soon. He told them they would be
scattered. He told them all this in advance to prepare them so that they could have peace. I don't know about you, but that would send me into a tailspin. The life they had known with Jesus was just about to be upended.
Notice the two little words
interjected between so that... and
...you may have peace.
What are those words?
We can have peace in the midst of trouble and trials because our peace comes from Jesus. He has overcome the world. None of your problems are too big for Him.
There is a go-to Bible story that I always bring to mind when facing impossible situations. It is found in Exodus 14 and is the story of how the wet sea bed became a dry road front for the Israelites to walk across. If He could do that, I tell myself, then He can do this (whatever I'm facing).
Tougher times lately for me mean paying for two children in college as a single parent, finding funds to pay my share for road construction on the cul-de-sac our neighborhood shares, dealing with two ankles swollen from possible gout making it hard and painful to walk, and feeling overwhelmed with projects that all need doing. Some days, I feel like I have all these juggling balls in the air and if I drop one, it's all going to come crashing down.
In my quiet time, I am reading through Proverbs. I love Proverbs and it is filled with all kinds of wisdom. Today I didn't feel like a do's and don'ts list however, I needed some comfort. I immediately flipped to Psalms. Psalms in a healing balm for me. I landed on Psalm 124, which was exactly what I needed. It's only eight verses, so I will include it here.
"If it had not been the Lord who was on our side - let Israel now say - if it had not been the LORD who was on our side when people rose up against us, then they would have
swallowed us up alive, when their anger was kindled against us; then the flood would have swept us away, the torrent would have gone over us; then over us would have gone
the raging waters. Blessed be the LORD, who has not given us as prey to their teeth! We have escaped like a bird from the snare of the fowlers; the snare is broken, and we have
escaped! Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth." Psalm 124, ESV
How can we have peace in the midst of tough or even tougher times? The answer is found in the verse Jesus shared with his disciples.
When we feel like we are about to be swallowed up alive and swept away, He is on our side. He is our escape. He will help us. He made heaven and earth. He can handle anything that
you bring to Him in prayer.
We can have peace in trouble in Jesus. So bring your troubles to Him. Tell Him and see how He helps you and provides a way of escape. There is hope in Jesus.
I will leave you with one final verse.
"I would have lost heart, unless I had believed That I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!" Psalm 27:13-14, KJV
I can look back and see over and over how Jesus came through during my tougher and even toughest times. He has always proven Himself faithful. My faith is firm, my trust is tested. I can say with confidence that I have peace because tougher times call for tighter clinging to Jesus, who is our help and hope.
Kathy Hutto is a Christian mom and degreed educator with over twenty-five years of experience teaching and homeschooling. She has written over two hundred resources for kids and families. Her articles have appeared in Lifeway’s Journey magazines, Lifeway Kids, The Old Schoolhouse magazines, Christian Living in the Mature Years magazine, Guideposts, and more. She has appeared on popular Podcasts including Wright Where You Are, Women Living Well, Coffee and Bible Time, and Schoolhouse Rocked.
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Thank you so much for taking the time to read August's blog in the Women of JOY series. I pray that it inspires you and empowers you as you seek to find true JOY in Christ alone in any and all circumstances!
The Women of JOY blog series will offer you the pleasure of hearing from a different Woman of Joy on the last Monday of each month.
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