We have all had those days. Frustrations, delays, difficulties. Traffic makes you late, the wi-fi is down, someone gets the flu and cancels. In these instances, I often sigh dramatically, “the universe is plotting against me!”
But sometimes the problems are far more serious. An important relationship is in jeopardy or a family member gets a serious medical diagnosis. We face a financial hurdle that we don’t see any way around. We worry about the future and aren’t sure of our next steps. What then? How do we react in times of crisis and fear?
The Word of God tells us. We’re told to remember.
1 – Remember that God is with you all day, every day and through every hour of the night. He is present 24/7.
By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me—
a prayer to the God of my life. Psalm 42:8
Speak truth to yourself even if you have a hard time believing it at this moment. God is with you. Right now. Nights are often the hardest time for me when I’m struggling. The dark of night is a lonely place to be when you’re awake and wondering where God is and what He’s doing.Speak truth to yourself even if you have a hard time believing it at this moment. God is with you.… Click To Tweet
Remind yourself of what scripture says:
- He sees you (Psalm 33:18 “the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him” ) and
- He hears your prayers (Psalm 34:15 “his ears are attentive to their cry” )
- God is a compassionate, gracious Father (Psalm 103:13-14).
- Jesus is interceding for you – praying for you, thinking about you – right now (Romans 8:34).
- He is on your side, in your corner “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31).
The Lord sometimes graciously runs worship songs through my head when my thoughts are anxious. It’s usually just a phrase, a piece of a lyric but it comforts and reminds me that I’m not alone.
Read the psalms. They are full of prayers and cries to God from desperate people who were trying to remember that God was with them.
Psalm 42:6 My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you.
2 -Remember the past. Has God come through for you before? Has He rescued you from disaster and danger? Remind yourself of how He comforted you and provided for you when you were distressed.
Do you have a prayer journal or some other method to record your spiritual journey? (If not, I hope you’ll start one today!) I find it tremendously helpful to go back and read old journals and my prayers to God. I was so worried about this thing and concerned about that. I couldn’t see how any of it would work out.
Now I hardly remember why I was upset because the Lord brought me through that hard time. I remember and rejoice over what he did for me and taught me in the past. He will do so again!
I remember my affliction and my wandering,
the bitterness and the gall.
I well remember them,
and my soul is downcast within me.
Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” Lamentations 3:19-24
3 – Remember that you can only control YOU. You can only control your response, your words and actions, not what others do or fail to do.
You must guard your heart and your response to prevent sinful anger. We’re told in James 1:19-20 that man’s anger doesn’t bring about the righteous life that God desires for us. Our anger in this situation will not usually produce righteousness, but may further escalate the problem.
Ask the Lord to give you the self-control and patience that you need in this situation.
In 2 Timothy 1:7 He promises us power, love and self-control, not fear. Ask for the Spirit to fill you with these things!
4- Remember that God is in control of the universe. He is sovereign, the King on the throne of everything. Nothing is too hard for Him. Nothing happens outside of His plan.
He raises kings and topples them. He made Pharoah’s heart hard so that God’s power and miracles would be shown to the Israelites. And he is always good, his ways are always right and just. We can trust him.
Dear friend, on those hard days when you are tempted to worry and doubt and fear, REMEMBER.
How has the Lord helped you and reminded you of His goodness? I’d love to hear.