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February 10, 2020

Finding Hope When Life Gets Hard

“I, Jude, am a slave to Jesus Christ … writing to those loved by God the Father, called and kept safe by Jesus Christ. Relax, everything’s going to be all right; rest, everything’s coming together; open your hearts, love is on the way!”  Jude 1:1-2 (MSG)

We’ve all had those days when we wondered how we were going to make it. How do you get through really, really bad days? Where do you find hope when life gets hard? Maybe you’re experiencing one of those days right now. It could be the loss of a career, the betrayal of a spouse, an unexpected death of a loved one, or you just feel stuck and can’t seem to move forward. What do you do? 

Jesus gave us a practical and powerful way to make it through those really bad days in the model prayer He taught His disciples.  In Matthew 6:11 He taught us to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.”  This is a prayer for daily provision. In those seven little words three are specific to the immediacy of the moment – this day our daily bread. The principle is clear: When tomorrow is too much, pray, “Just for today, Lord!” “Just for today, Lord, give me the strength I need. Just for today, Lord, give me the wisdom to make the right decisions. Just for today, Lord, give me the courage not to give up. Just for today, Lord, give me the patience to hold on. Just for today, Lord!”  We call this “Just for today prayers.”  These kinds of prayers come from a heart broken by the pain of sorrow and great loss.

When King David suffered such personal grief, he cried out to God in Psalm 5:3, “… Every morning I lay out the pieces of my life on Your altar and watch for fire to descend.”  David’s struggle through really bad days gives us a second insight that will help us find hope when life gets hard.  After we pray, we need to watch. Watch for God to show up. If you’re praying just for today prayers, you may want to start every day with Psalm 5:3 as well. “Help me to see you, Lord.” Then write down your prayers and where you see God show up.  This will become your personal Miracle Book! Watching is an action that comes from an attitude of expectancy that God will show up in one way or another.

Jude, the half brother of the Lord Jesus, offers a final insight to find hope when life gets hard. In Jude 1:1-2 he wrote: “I, Jude, am a slave to Jesus Christ … writing to those loved by God the Father, called and kept safe by Jesus Christ. Relax, everything’s going to be all right; rest, everything’s coming together; open your hearts, love is on the way!”

When you pray just for today prayers and watch for God to come through you can relax. You can rest in the assurance that God is in control. You can surrender to His will, His plan and His purpose. You can rest in His power. I love the way King David said it in Psalm 4:8 when he prayed, “At day’s end I’m ready for sound sleep, for You, God, have put my life back together.” When we lay out the broken pieces of our lives before Him, He will put them back together again with wholeness and healing. But to do that Jude says we must open our hearts to God.

Have you opened your heart to God? Jude reminds us that we are loved by God the Father, called and kept safe by Jesus Christ!  Even when everything feels all wrong, we can relax because one day everything’s going to be ALL right! In His time, in His way, everything will come together. So open your hearts, love is on the way!

The best way to experience hope when life gets hard is by connecting with others on the same journey in a life group. You can do that today. Just click HERE to connect with a group at any of our three Woodlands Church campuses or if you are out of town, connect to an online group with Pastor Vince Walker at vwalker@wc.org

Then check out the five-week journey for The Gift of One Day HERE you can order the book online at Amazon or pick one up at the WC Trading Co. at Woodlands Church. As a companion to the book we encourage you to get a copy of The Miracle Book to record what you see God doing through your journey and the lessons He’s teaching you.

I hope you’ll join us for the five-week journey.  No matter what you’re going through, you don’t have to go through it alone. There is hope when life gets hard.