I Corinthians chapter 10, verse 13 states, “Every test that you have experienced is the kind that normally comes to people. But, God keeps his promises, and he will not allow you to be tested beyond your power to remain firm at the time you are put to the test. He will give you the strength to endure it, and so provide you with a way out.” This verse states two things to me. It says that God is in control — he will not allow me to be tested beyond my power to remain in him. It also states that God will give me strength to endure it. This is good news! I have found that the worse thing I can say to myself during difficult times is, “I can’t cope because I feel hopeless.” The bible tells me to challenge that type of thinking no matter how difficult things get.
Nowhere in the bible does it state we will be spared of discomfort. John chapter 17, verse 15 states, “I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but I do ask you to keep them safe from the evil one.” Wow…what does that mean? It states that God is in control. He knows how much I can endure. He will not let me be tested beyond my power to remain firm. He also tells me he will give me the strength to endure it.
I need to watch my attitude. If I base my attitude on how to get through difficult times on 1 Corinthians, 10 verse 13, I would take the attitude that, “God has given me this test, so I just want to through it as quickly as I can and get going.”
But, I read in James 1, verse 2 -4 that he has presented to me the attitude I should be adopting. “Consider it a sheer joy, friends when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed , not defiant in any way.” I learned that my attitude had to change. My thinking of difficulties as a curse is to be avoided. The saying, “Don’t get out of anything prematurely,” has really made a huge impact on me; on how I think about the whole process of difficulties. God has shown me he wants to use every difficulty I go through to develop my faith.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” When I am going through difficulties, I think they will surely destroy me, and I cannot understand why I am going through them. But this verse tells me to trust and rely on God.
“We need to trust in all things God works for good with those who love him, those whom he has called according to his purpose.”
After reading this verse (Romans 8:28) I realize that God knows his plans for me and what he is doing is for my good. I don’t have to understand everything, I need to trust him like a child trusts his Father. God shows me that I need to stop complaining to others, I need to tell them that God is giving me strength and his word to go through the difficulty, and to grow in my trust and faith in him.
Philippians 4:8 tells me to stop worrying about what I am going through. So I fill my mind with Praise: things that are true, noble, pure, lovely, and honorable. I then recall times when God has answered my prayers, especially the difficult times when I had to rely on God for each moment. These are the times I know that God has been closest to me, and demonstrated his power to me.
So for me, finding verses that cause me to think, to trust God, to make a decision to accept them, and to apply them to my thoughts will make a difference in my difficult times.
It is not easy to change the way I think and act, but with the power of the Holy Spirit, I believe I can make these changes in my life and to trust God when I am going through those difficult times.