“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, [and] who have been called according to his purpose.” —Romans 8:28 (NIV)
When the world seems upside-down and no relief is in sight, all sorts of not-so-good thoughts might pop into your head: “What if I lose my job??” “How bad are things going to get?” Perhaps even more importantly, “What news can I believe anymore? Everyone has a different ‘truth’.”
Worrying about the future can be overwhelming. Negative thoughts breed more negative thinking and eventually, some believers find themselves deep in depression. Long before we get to that point, we must take the bull by the horns and halt the downward spiral. The fact is, as believers, there is never ‘no hope.’
In the article, “This Wild and Crazy World,” we are told to ‘turn it off’ and pick up our Bibles. In other words, we should meditate on the promises that God makes for those who love Him. And because He is God, we know we can trust Him to do what He says He will.
In Romans 8:38 (above) we see that God is going to take even the worst of times and turn them into good. Our job then, during difficult times is to endure and simply look forward to how God is going to use our pain—perhaps for our own good, perhaps for another. Either way, good comes out of bad. If we look for it, we will see when good comes.
Here’s another helpful verse: Philippians 4:8, “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or trustworthy—think about such things.” In other words, put good thoughts into your head; stop that stinkin’ thinkin’! In the same way, negative thoughts lead to negative thinking, good thoughts bring about more good thoughts. And we decide which we want to put in.
And then there’s First Corinthians 10:13b. “And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” Just think! We can bear up under our trials AND God will provide the way out.
Proverbs 4:23b tells us, “Above all else, guard your heart because everything you do flows from it.” In the New Testament (Matthew 12:34) Jesus puts it this way: “For out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.”
Proverbs 3:5 reminds us that we don’t handle our trials alone. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” Trust God in all things; the details, as well as the big picture. He’s in charge; we are not.
The scriptures are replete with divine wisdom for handling our trials and tribulations. We can learn much from reading our Bible with a journal alongside to record helpful references. Remember, our Lord is always with us.