Have you ever felt like you are going “downhill” instead of moving up and ahead?
Have opportunities disappeared and you can’t seem to shake yourself out of disappointment?
Has a series of failures caused you to doubt yourself?
Well, if so, come and join me because I’ve been through some recent physical challenges that have been discouraging. Delays have come to some of the things I want to do for the Lord and my family. Fortunately, I’ve found some help in the scriptures that I want to share. Also, there are stories of several famous people in the Bible who have been in and out of these challenges.
Strategies of Biblical Heroes
There are many of the prominent heroes of the Bible that went through serious challenges. Moses had many difficulties along with hugely important achievements. He worked best when he spent time with the Lord (Exodus 5:22 and following chapters). Joshua taught his people to draw close to God’s Word and be courageous because God is with them (Joshua chapter 1—a great chapter to read in times of difficulty). In the New Testament, the apostle Paul stands out as overcoming massive challenges while receiving directions from the Lord (Acts Chapters 13 to 28, e.g., Acts 16:6-9, the Macedonian call).
King David stands Tall
The imperfect hero, David, provides the most stories of overcoming along with a treasure of Psalms—songs that are uplifting poetry. In the face of disappointments and fears of death, David cried out to God for safety (Psalms 13 to 18 are particularly good examples of his calls on God, along with the famous Psalms 23 that says “the Lord is my Shepard; I shall not want”). I have found great comfort from the Passion translation (TPT) of Psalms, especially the Illustrated Journaling Edition[i] which gives you lots of space to add your comments and insights? Also, the TPT version gives you innovative words that catch your attention. I highlight these passages and words to change my attitude! For example (with Psalm numbers), “strengthen my soul” (13:6), “never be shaken” (15:5), “your wrap-around presence” (16:8), “You are the revelation light in my darkness” and “the wrap-around God gives grace to me” (18:28, 30), “You’ve super-charged my life so that I soar again like a flying eagle in the sky!” And there are many more. I strongly suggest this wonderful source that can uplift your soul!
Go Back to your Favorite Bible Verses
If you don’t yet have favorite verses in the Bible, I strongly suggest finding some that will lift you up in times of trouble. If you need help finding some verses, find a collection such as “God’s Promises for Your Every Need,” by Dr. A.L. Gill for Thomas Nelson Publishing[ii]. This booklet (and others like it) helped me remember my most helpful verses and lifted the heaviness of my circumstances. Here are some examples (from helpful translations):
From Thomas Nelson, NKJV
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your path. (Proverbs 3:5, 6)
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God will guard you heart… (Philippians 4:6)
Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. (Galatians 6:9)
Message Translation: Psalms 42:5
Why am I down in the dumps, dear soul?
Fix my eyes on God—soon I’ll be praising again.
He puts a smile on my face. He’s my God
TPT Psalm 42:5
Why would you be depressed, (my soul).
Why would you sink into despair?
Just keep hoping and waiting on God, your Savior
For no matter what, I will still sing with praise,
for living before His face is my saving grace.
Find you own favorites, and you will be blessed!
Pastor G. Harold
Copyright © 2022, Roid Family Trust
[i] Dr. Brian Simmons, The Psalms: Poetry on Fire: Illustrated Journaling Edition, Broadstreet, 2015
[ii] The Thomas Nelson collection of verses are from the New King James Version, but other translations have similar collections. The version quoted was published in 2019. It has sections on “What to do when you feel….” And “What to do when…” and more.