My caring friend, a dedicated Christian, introduced me to “Prayercentral.” It’s an online prayer site established to recharge your prayer life or help you learn how to pray.
Prayercentral, at www.prayercentral.net, features daily devotionals, prayer tips and inspirational words. Its purpose is to help you build a closer connection with God.
Let’s be honest, we all need a tighter connection with God. This year we’ll face new challenges…tough times. J We’ll need spiritual stamina and mental toughness. Kathleen Dillard, director of Prayercentral, recently shared “Getting You Through It”. Keeping in mind Kathleen’s quoted key truths (below), along with my spiritual insights, you and I can confidently step into 2014. We can get through the tough times!
1 1. “Don’t expect everything to be easy.” The word “trouble” is used 45 times in the New Testament. It literally means “distress, hard circumstances, trials and suffering.” Like carrying a load of bricks on your back, their weight could be crushing and Jesus knows it. That’s why He says, “…in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) The phrase, “you may have” in the original language is translated “to hold fast, to be closely joined to a person.”
When you feel pressure, squeezed to the pulp, remember you’re not alone. For the believer, Jesus is joined to you; He is holding you fast; He will never leave you.
2 2. “Persevere and lean into God for help.” Sheer perseverance alone produces stress, misguided direction, and wrong motives. Perseverance, plus holding onto God’s Words, makes it possible to get though life’s messes. God’s Words are perfect, they revive the soul, they are trustworthy, and they promise to make you wise. (Psalm 19:7) Someone remarked, “I discovered that we don’t really know what it’s like for God to be the strength of our heart until our heart and flesh have failed.”
“ 3. "You can stretch further than you think you can.” Valleys are part of the journey to the mountain top. There are times when it takes all the strength you have just to take the next step. “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13) Remember, the resurrection power of Jesus lives in you. He equips you for daily challenges with boldness and purpose. (Ephesians 1:19-20)
4. “Don’t faint. Often the finish line is within your reach.” When our kids played sports they’d skim the faces in the crowd until they spotted me. Receiving my reassuring smile told them, “All is well.” When we can’t see God’s face, we can always trust His heart. “The LORD helps the fallen and lifts up those bent beneath their loads.” (Psalm 145:14 NLT) He sees more than you see.
5 5. “Release your frustration to the Lord and give yourself breathing room in the tension.” The Father of compassion and God of all comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3) knows you. The Hebrew word “yada” means “to know.” It conveys a deep emotional and experiential bonding between two people when they truly feel the emotions of the other. It goes beyond intellectual knowing. Jesus feels your emotions! He says, “Come,” not, “go do something” to find relief. (John 6:35) Ah then, when your world is turned upside down…grace comes to help! “…the LORD longs to be gracious to you; He rises to show you compassion…Blessed are all who wait for Him!” (Isaiah 30:18)