Surviving Tough Times

If success meant easy living, he was a failure. If happiness required a large bank account, popularity and trendsetting, he should be life's most miserable man.

God called him to be a spokesperson, but when he talked nobody listened. Tough defined is telling people God isn't pleased with them, doing it for 40 long years and having no interested parties. He was poor and deprived, and life got even tougher when he was thrown into prison, a muddy well and escorted to a foreign country. His family, neighbors and folks at the local church didn't' really like him or appreciate his efforts.

Taking into consideration the opposition and his sacrifice, we might wonder why he didn't walk away. An alternate course would probably have relieved at least some of his pain. When he complained, God said; "If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses" (Jeremiah 12:5)?

Who hasn't known a few tough times? If you've lived beyond childhood, you've experienced some. Tough times are part of life. Money can't prevent their appearance and normally can't make them disappear. Nor does notoriety guarantee easy living. Tough times are tough, prevalent and they don't discriminate.

God's word to Jeremiah was; "If you think it's bad now, what are you going to do when it gets worse?" And it did. Only God's protecting power saved him. Joy isn't a state of being that requires unending pleasant circumstances. Joy is a state of mind created by the presence of God's Spirit. Happiness depends on circumstances; joy is experienced in spite of them. Don't let the tough times steal your joy. Focus on who controls them.

Prayer: God of the good and tough times, enable us to trust You in all times.

Martin Wiles
Harleyville, South Carolina, USA

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