1. Be rooted in God’s promises: The Bible contains many wonderful verses of scripture which give us encouragement, strength, comfort, hope, peace and love when we are facing difficult times. Those verses which stand out for me are:
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. Psalm 18:2
When you pass through deep waters, I will be with you: your troubles will not overwhelm you. When you pass through fire, you will not be burnt; the hard trials that come will not hurt you. Isaiah 43:2
We are pressed on every side by troubles, but not crushed and broken. We are perplexed because we don’t know why things happen as they do, but we don’t give up and quit. We are hunted down, but God never abandons us. We get knocked down but we get up again and keep going. Though our bodies are dying, our inner strength in the Lord is growing every day. 2 Cor 4:8-9 & 16
2. Be rooted in active prayer: I believe it is important to maintain an active prayer life in times of trouble and also seek the prayers of others when appropriate. I like John Blanchard’s quote “prayer is not wrestling with God’s reluctance to bless us it is laying hold on His willingness to do so”. It is therefore essential for us to keep the channels of grace open with God through prayer. I thank God for all who have been surrounding Marie and myself with prayer over the past few months. Some verses on prayer I have found useful:
The Lord is close to all who call on Him, yes, to all who call on Him sincerely. Psalm 145:18
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7.
3. Be rooted in praise and thanksgiving: It has been said we would worry less if we praised more. Thanksgiving is the enemy of discontent and dissatisfaction. I have always enjoyed listening to and singing Christian songs; it lifts my spirit when joining together with others to sing praise to God. In considering some of the teaching from our mid-week Bible Study on Whole Life Worship it impacted on me when we gather to worship we are not only singing our praises and faith to God Almighty but also to each other. So if you are going through a bad time it can be a wonderful experience knowing people are singing out God’s love, grace and mercy to you. This is why attending worship regularly is so important. If you are unable to attend Church I would suggest you take time to listen to praise music and it will help to lift your spirit. The following words from Psalm 33 you may find helpful:
Sing joyfully to the Lord you righteous. It is fitting for the upright to praise Him.
Sing to Him a new song; play skilfully and shout for joy. For the word of the Lord is right and true; He is faithful in all He does. The Lord loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of His unfailing love. Psalm 33: 1, 3-5
4. Be rooted in Love: I sometimes think when you are up against it in life it is easy to forget how much God loves us. That the God who created the entire universe and humankind reached down to us in love, through Jesus Christ, to bring us deliverance and salvation from our sins and healing and wholeness in our brokenness. As Rick Warren puts it so well “Jesus stretched His arms out as wide as the cross saying, I love you this much. I love you so much it hurts. I love you so much I’ll die for you so that I won’t have to live without you”. When passing through life’s storms may we remember God’s love for us and all that He has done for us through Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. A few verses to help us keep this in mind are:
But He was wounded for the wrong we did; He was crushed for the evil we did. The punishment which made us well was given to Him and we are healed because of His wounds. Isaiah 53:5
God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son so whoever believes in Him may not be lost, but have eternal life. John 3:16
Christ’s love is greater than anyone can ever know, but I pray that you will be able to know that love. Then you can be filled with the fullness of God. With God’s power working in us, God can do much, much more than anything we can ask or imagine. Ephesians 3:19-20
Nothing can separate us from God`s love. Romans 8: 39
At the time of writing I haven’t completed my medical diagnostic process but I feel a real sense of peace through all the prayers offered on my behalf. No matter what the future brings I will continue to be rooted in Christ my Saviour.
Neilson Wylie (Prayer Team Co-Ordinator)