Advice for the suffering

It’s been a tough year for many people. In addition to a desperate economy, diseases are more serious and scary, droughts are plaguing many places, and then one still has to deal with all the “normal” difficulties of life too.

Christians are not immune to the realities of the world around them, and experience the same emotions of despair, hopelessness, sadness, depression and worry. And too often even Christians forget where to turn in these hard times, and what it means to be a Christian, even in bad times:

1Pe 5:5  Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
1Pe 5:6  Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,
1Pe 5:7  casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
1Pe 5:8  Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
1Pe 5:9  Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.
1Pe 5:10  And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish

It starts with humility. We are all in the same boat, no-one better than any other. All are sinners in a sinful world, and therefore we should be humble. Once we can see that we have every reason to be humble and accept our own need for help, then God gives us the grace to get through these hard times. Those who don’t accept their need for help, and are not humble enough to see themselves as in just as much trouble as others are not in a position to accept the gracious help from God.

The key then, is to trust God to give you the power, the determination and the assurance to firstly remove your anxieties, and then also to sustain you through the hard times to emerge stronger. Doubting that is to give in to evil, who seeks to break down and destroy people. Hope in faith is what keeps you immune from that, and enables one to remain positive, hopeful and happy in the knowledge that God is in control, and He loves us.

God gives us the assurance that when we are humble, when we trust Him with our worries, if we rely on His plan for the greater good, then He will bless us with the best possible outcome. He will give us our strength, love and hope, and renew us in our faith in Him and our eternal future.

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