Monday, April 16, 2018

God’s Plan To Get You Through Tough Times

Have you ever watched the Tour de France? Bicyclists power through the mountains in Europe, often topping speeds of 70 mph on their descent. This can make for horrific crashes when a cyclist misjudges a curve, slick road, or the distance between him and the cyclist next to him.
The race takes more than three weeks to complete, with 2,200 miles of rough terrain of the Pyrenees and the Alps intermixed with beautiful rolling countryside. Time trials are also part of the tour. Those riders who endure the entire race cross the finish line on the historical Champs-Élysées in Paris.
Power and speed are two integral components of the race, but the most important factor is pacing—much like marathon running. This is particularly true in time trials, where riders get to demonstrate their individual strength.
While full-speed crashes are less likely because time trials are very calculated and controlled, many factors can derail a racer’s success. Early fatigue from pressing too hard, lack of good preparation, yielding to outside or internal influences, and not enough training are just a few.
We can look at our spiritual lives and see similarities. We often zip through life with an overloaded calendar filled with more commitments than we can hope to accomplish well, and we pray that there isn’t a curve or slick road ahead.
Then a trial hits. Trials are mind-bogglingly slow and require the power that comes from the Holy Spirit to get through them. Getting alone with God through Bible study, peaceful prayer, and waiting is imperative for a successful outcome. Waiting isn’t something most of us are naturally geared toward.
In the Old Testament, Jeremiah finds himself in a desperate situation of trying to warn Judah of their impending doom while also trying to encourage them to renew their covenant with God. Jeremiah complained, felt depressed, and often showed downright despair. After one such complaint, in Jeremiah 12:5, God responded with “If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan?”
Basically, God said the trial is for your own good—to strengthen you for the tasks ahead. But he doesn’t just leave you there.
Don’t lose heart during a trial. There’s a promise of the finish line. The trial doesn’t last forever.
First Peter 1:6-7 reminds us that trials are “for a little while” and that we should rejoice in this. Trials have come to prove “genuineness of your faith”—of greater worth than gold.
We’re told how to run. Hebrews 12:1-2 reminds us to “run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfector of faith.”
And lastly, be encouraged by the outcome. James 1:2-12 gives us great encouragement that “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”
We can persevere with God’s sufficient grace (2 Corinthians 12:9) and through the power of the Holy Spirit. Then we are refined to walk out our faith to help others going through similar trials, and in the end, receive the crown of life the Lord promised to those who love Him.
The Apostle Paul in 2 Timothy 4:7-8 said, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.”
So feel confident that when the trial comes—you’ve trained for it, and the Master Coach will walk beside you, ensuring you don’t fatigue until you reach the end.
Isn’t that a great promise to hold on to? 
What are your go-to Bible verses in times of trouble? Is there a time you can look back on and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God carried you through?
**Leave a comment to get your name in the drawing for Cloaked in Love by Stitches author Elaine Manders! Winner will be announced in the April 30th edition of the Weekly Windup.**
Blog photos courtesy of Pixabay.com.

Laura Hodges Poole is the author and co-author of several books, available on Amazon. Her Christian romance novel, Return to Walhalla, recently released. She is the 2016 ACWC Badge of Honor winner, 2014 ACFW Genesis semi-finalist, and 2012 RWA Emily finalist. Laura is also a non-fiction ghostwriter/collaborator. Her passion is encouraging others through her blog, "A Word of Encouragement." When she’s not writing, you might find her hiking, playing the piano, or being crafty. A mother of two, Laura lives in South Carolina with her husband.


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When financier Penny Ruskin returns to Walhalla, South Carolina, she has one purpose—to settle her grandmother’s estate and sell the Victorian house she grew up in. Not an easy task with the downturned economy. What she doesn't count on are all the roadblocks thrown in her path.
Walhalla is Tommy McAllister’s life. Between his family’s feed-and-seed store and the bank he’s vice president of, he’s stretched thin trying to survive the recession. But when a girl he hasn’t seen since high school breezes back into town, he’s ready to push himself even further to help her feel at home—and convince her to stay. He reaches out to Penny, but the last thing she wants is to be trapped in a small town that holds painful memories—one dark secret in particular.
The town matchmaker and bank manager, Miss Betty, a motherless teen Emma who lives down the lane from Penny, and the church ladies of Walhalla’s First Baptist add both heartwarming and challenging moments to Penny’s life.
With the past dogging Penny’s steps, dredging up painful memories she’s tried to outrun, relatives threaten the future she has begun to hope for…But somewhere deep inside her, a spark of hope remains. Tommy isn’t the only one praying for a miracle.
Click here to read a FREE Preview of Return to Walhalla. 

6 comments:

  1. Thank you for the encouraging reminder.

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  2. Thank you for sharing your wonderful post.

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  3. Thankful that God is always there, no matter if we are in the midst of the storm or on the mountain top. He is always walking with us and we can call out His Name at any moment.

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