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Confidence in Troubled Times

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Confidence in Troubled Times

Summary:

Do you ever feel that life is one challenge after another? Perhaps you are one of thousands who struggles to keep your home, feed your family, or stay employed. Or maybe your battle involves your health, your marriage, or a rebellious child. Whatever form it takes, hardship comes to every life sooner or later. You and I live in a fallen world. Even as believers, we have no guarantee that our lives will be easy.

However, we don’t have to be anxious in the midst of difficulty. The Word of God gives us four foundational truths that can help face troubled times with confidence.

Key Passage: Romans 8:28-39

Supporting Scripture: Psalms 103:19; 23:4; 37:4; 139;Matthew 6:8; 28:18-20; John 14:6; 15:4; Philippians 4:19; 2 Corinthians 12:9-10; Hebrews 13:5

Scriptural Principles:

1.    God controls our circumstances.

Psalm 103:19 says, “The Lord has established His throne in the heavens, and His sovereignty reigns over all.” This promise is the basis of our confidence in troubled times. We can be sure that the Father will bring good even out of negative experiences in the lives of those who love Him (Rom. 8:28).

Many people think that the Christian life is supposed to be trouble free. But the Bible never promises a comfortable life. Instead, the Father’s goal for us is to learn how to depend on Him and become more like Christ (Rom. 8:29).To learn how to rely on God, we must first realize how much we need Him. That is one reason why He allows difficulty in our lives. Other people have a limited degree of freedom to sin against us, and the Father also permits disease, natural disaster, and other tragedy. Despite this, we can have confidence based on two facts: (1) nothing can happen to one of God’s children unless He allows it; and (2) if the Lord allows adversity, He will bring good out of it somehow.

2.    God will meet our needs.

Romans 8:31-32 says, “If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?”  In other words, since the Father allowed Jesus to be sacrificed on our behalf, we should not doubt that He will provide for us.  Although we have the freedom to pray about everything, Scripture tells us that God knows what we lack before we even ask (Matt. 6:8).

Philippians 4:19 says, “My God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Notice that this verse does not promise that we will get all we want from God.  In fact, if the Lord gave us all we desire, we would certainly regret some of our requests.  Our heavenly Father knows what to withhold and what to give us.

Why does God allow some prayers to go unanswered? There are two primary reasons: He wants to teach us to depend on Him, or He has something better for us. Remember that the Father’s ultimate purpose is to conform us into the image of His Son, not to grant our wishes or make our lives comfortable.  But we can learn how to be content in every circumstance, trusting God to supply us with all we truly need (2 Cor. 12:9-10).

3.    God is always with us.

In Romans 8:35-39, Paul writes that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ.  The problem comes when you and I rely on our feelings instead of on the truth of God’s Word. Certainly, there are times when we might not sense His presence.  And when the Father doesn’t answer in our timing or He doesn’t answer as we expected, we might wonder if He even hears our prayers. But if you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour, the Holy Spirit is living within you, and He is aware of your every thought (John 15:4).

In Hebrews 13:5, our Saviour promised, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you.”  His presence can comfort us, heal us, transform our circumstances, and bless us in countless other ways.  For instance, Scripture says that God already sees believers as glorified—holy and without sin—just as we will be in eternity (Rom. 8:30).

The promise of God’s presence is exclusively for those who have accepted His Son. Jesus said, “No one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6).  Apart from accepting the gift of forgiveness through the death of His Son, sinful humanity cannot access the presence of Holy God.  That’s why the only person who can say “The Lord is always with me” is the one who has confessed Jesus Christ as his or her personal Saviour.

4.    God loves us with an eternal love.

If you were to ask the average person, “Do you believe God loves you?” few people would be sure.  But the Lord does love His creation because His very nature is love (Rom. 8:35-39).He loves us even when we sin although He despises our ungodly behaviour.  In love, He will discipline us to keep us from hurting or destroying ourselves.

In the key passage, every single verse is an expression of God’s love. In verse 28, His love causes all things to work together for good for our sakes. Verse 29 says, in love, He foreknew and predestined us to become like His Son.  In verse 30, God predestined, called, justified, and glorified us because of His love.  Verse 31 says no one can successfully come against us because of our heavenly Father’s loving protection.  In verse 32, He gave His only Son out of love for us.  Looking at verses 33-34, we see that God justifies us and saves us from condemnation because of love.  In verse 35, Paul asks, “Who will separate us from the love of Christ?” and ultimately concludes that nothing can (Rom. 8:39).

In short, this passage teaches believers that no matter what we face, we can come out richer spiritually than when we started.  If we will surrender ourselves to Almighty God, He can use any situation or circumstance for our good.

Conclusion:

Are you facing a problem that is beyond your control?  Does it disrupt your peace and challenge your trust in God?  Consider this—the Father loved you so much that He sent Jesus Christ to die on the Cross for your sins.  If the Lord was willing to offer His only Son on your behalf in order to free you from the power of sin, surely He will provide everything else you need.

When unexpected tragedy or hardship comes your way, remember that your heavenly Father is in control of all that happens to you.  He will provide exactly what you need, when you need it.  The four foundational truths in this message can transform the way you respond to difficulty.  Place your trust fully in the Lord, and you will have confidence in every circumstance you face.

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