Nobody likes duplicate content, especially Google’s algorithm. So, today is a – follow-up(?) – to a testimonial I wrote a while back.
In that article I talked about hail, our vehicles, and how there was a blessing in the hardship. I didn’t plan on making a video about it, but then after reading a passage out of Lamentations, God inspired me to talk about it on camera.
So I did.
I want to share some thoughts based on what God showed me, but first, we need to read God’s word:
22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
– Lamentations 3:2-23 (ESV)
Read that again!
God is loving and merciful. Why? Because he is faithful. To what, though? To himself and his character. Unlike us, God is always true to who he is and what he says. God is trustworthy!
Another thing that stands out his the author’s joy. He celebrates God’s gloriousness, his mercy, his love, and his faithfulness. In a book of laments, where the focus is on difficulties, hardships, and bad times, Jeremiah finds joy, hope, and blessing.
So, to help you (and me) learn to be more like Jeremiah, here are some tips to help us see blessings in hardship.
Seven Tips to Help See Blessings in Hardship
- Don’t let the problems consume your thoughts. It’s easy to focus on the bad things, but that does nothing to fix the situation or alleviate the stress.
- Look for the benefits, even if they are very small ones. Blessings don’t need to be grandiose. Even small blessings are worthy of our attention.
- Spend time with people who are experiencing joy. The more we associate with people, the more they influence us. So, spend time with joyful, Jesus-praising people.
- Don’t listen to yourself, but listen for God’s voice. God’s voice may seem like a faint whisper compared to the rock concert level sound of our own voice. In those times, try to listen to God.
- Spend time reading the Bible. God gave us his word for more than carrying it to church. He speaks through it. So to help hear him, read his words.
- Be open to blessings, even if you don’t think you deserve them. Sometimes we don’t think we deserve to be blessed. Nevertheless, we should allow ourselves to be willing to receive them.
- Don’t point blame, but sing God’s praise. Adam and Eve did it, and we still do it today (ever been on social media?). Instead of blaming ourselves or others, we should praise God for who he is: a loving, merciful, faithful Father.
Bringing It Home
When things go wrong, it can bring us down emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually. Nevertheless, God is faithful to himself, his character, and his word. As such, although he does judge and punish sin, he is a merciful, loving Father.
Jeremiah looked around him and lamented all the horrible things that were happening. Yet, he still saw great blessings in it because he turned to God. God often blesses people in hardships, using those times to teach us, strengthen us, and motivate us to turn to him.
How will you turn to God in your hardship (or how have you in the past)? What tips can you offer that I overlooked?
- We should be Seeking God while being Sought by God16 October 2018/