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A one-page devotional thought.  

  • Glen Pitts


Updated: Nov 25, 2020

One of Robert Schuller’s most frequently used quotes is, “Tough times never last. Tough people do.” There is amazing truth in that statement. Throughout Scripture God challenged his people to do two things to help them maintain perspective in tough times. 1) To look back. And 2) To look ahead. To look back and remember God’s faithfulness. And to look ahead to remind themselves of God’s changeless character and the hope they have in Him. (Psalm 121). It’s so easy to lose perspective. In Psalm 42 the Psalmist found himself in a black hole. Most in a similar state would either run or choose to sit and lament their plight. Fortunately, he chose neither. Instead, he began to speak to himself. It’s okay to talk to yourself – as long as you are telling yourself the right things – not just digging a bigger hole. The Psalmist caught himself by the spiritual scruff of the neck and began to talk to himself. “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me?” (42:5) He took a moment to breathe and to bring some perspective to his troubles. Then he began some self coaching. “Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” (42:5) He was telling himself to get his eyes off the problem and get them on God! Consider again all He had done – how he had pulled him through trouble in the past. “Hope in God. For I shall yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.” Note the language. “For I shall yet praise him...” He had little reason for praise in the moment. However, if he would just hang in, God again would come through and restore peace to his troubled soul. The Psalmist looked inward and began to reason with himself in his troubled state. He then looked backward to remind himself of God’s faithfulness. And then he looked ahead to fuel hope that God had not changed and could help him again. Have you hit a tough period in your life? Are you like my friend who confessed to me the other day, “Glen, I feel like all is dark! I can’t even seem to pray.” In his case worry about an uncertain future had overtaken his life and God seemed distant and unconcerned. I reminded him, that when you go to a pharmacist to secure a prescription for a particular ailment, he does not just willy-nilly turn around and grab the first drug he can put his hand on to give you. No, he reads the prescribed prescription that your doctor gave you. That is the one that is proven to address such ailments. God’s Word is the same. When overwhelmed by worry, God has some choice prescriptions that address worry. Those are the verses we need to recall to regain hope. I took out a pen and piece of paper and wrote “Philippians 4:6-7.” Signed my name. Gave him the prescription. Encouraged him to read it morning and night and as needed – and asked him to let me know how things were going in three days. Together we then walked through the verses. “Don’t worry about anything, but prayer about everything. With thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God that passes understanding will fill your heart and mind through Jesus Christ.” My friend looked at me with glassy eyes and a smile from ear to ear and said, “I’m already beginning to feel better.” Surviving tough times requires that we look back to recall God’s faithfulness. And look ahead to affirm our faith in a changeless God. “In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed. In your strength you will guide them to your holy dwelling.” (Exodus 15:13) Where are you looking? Be blessed my friend. Glen The Barnabas Group. (Loads of Love) Psalm 46:1-11; Isaiah 43:2; Psalm 139:7; II Chronicles 6:14

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