Everyone in one way or another is dealing with a hard time or WILL deal with a hard time. Find out how to find hope in the midst of hard times.
GOD

HOPE IN THE HARD TIMES

For He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. Matthew 5:45

As of recent, there have been situations that seem unbearable. 

Just the state of our world is enough, am I right?

Then add in anything personal we’re dealing with.

Friendships, marriages, family, mental health, physical health, spiritual health, and everything in between.

Things can seem a bit overwhelming. 

I allowed a situation between myself and another person to get the best of me.

There are some wounds that God is still healing inside of me, and unfortunately, those wounds were triggered in the midst of a disagreement.

That caused me to deal with some deep, dark issues within myself. 

I was questioning why God was still allowing these feelings and thoughts, IN THE MIDST OF A PANDEMIC!!

Doesn’t He know there’s so much already going on? I didn’t need this too!!!

Due to my personal circumstances, I doubted God and what He was actually doing. 

WHAT GOD SHARED WITH ME

Then God reminded me of a special time He and I had just a week or so ago.

If you follow me on IG, you’ve already heard my talk on Psalm 23.

If you haven’t, you can check it out here and follow me for weekly chats and updates.

As I was reading and praying, I was referred to Psalm 23, you know… the popular chapter, “The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want”?

Yeah well, this chapter took on a new meaning for me that day.

Here’s what He shared with me…

PSALM 23

  • V.1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 
    • Because He’s my shepherd who leads and guides me, I don’t need ANYTHING. I should be completely content in Him.
  • V.2 He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.
    • This is where the visual begins for me. Something I enjoy immensely (for those who personally know me, know that that’s not a word I typically use.. But it’s my vocabulary.. SURPRISE!) is being outside in nature. With this image of green pastures, it’s such a reminder of how God knows us so intimately and He knows the tiny details that’ll tilt our hearts more toward Him. I just picture me and Jesus hanging out in the green pastures- peaceful, beautiful, content. Then we walk over to this lake or pond. Again, peaceful and at ease. 
  • V.3 He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
    • Due to our hangout being in the midst of nature (His creation), I find restoration within my soul. It’s much deeper than just a “getaway”, but something reassuring me that this is what being in the presence of Jesus is supposed to be like. 
    • Then we walk down a path that runs along the still pond, and He leads the way. I slightly veer off on a different path, but then He leads me down the right path… the path that leads to His purpose and plan. Again, He’s my Shepherd, so He knows the way… He created it!
  • V.4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
    • This path leads into a very dark and grim valley. The feeling of dread and fear would normally take over my being, but I’m in His presence. There’s no fear in my mind, body, or soul because Jesus is pouring out His love, kindness, and assurance that I’m His. I’m comforted and accompanied by my Creator and Shepherd. There’s no reason to worry or fear what’s to come or what’s surrounding me.
  • V.5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
    • This is such a powerful verse for me in this visual representation. IN THE MIDST OF MY ENEMIES, He prepares a table, a snack, or a meal. Smack dab in the midst of the enemy and darkness. He says, “Yes, it looks dark, but I have FULL authority over your enemies and the darkness. We will set up right here, and nobody or nothing will bother us. You’re with me, so we’re just going to hang out here to talk.” What authority He has over even the darkness!! 
    • He speaks His wisdom, His instruction, His love, His kindness, and everything in between to me. I’m sitting in His presence although darkness is all around. My attention is zeroed in on Him as He speaks, and we spend time together. In the presence of the Lord, there’s fullness of joy. I’m consumed with His presence and everything He’s telling me. From this fullness, He encourages me to share with others without shame or fear.
  • V.6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
    • His goodness and mercy (compassion and forgiveness) will FOLLOW me for the rest of my life. Wherever I go, whatever I do, His love will be with me ALWAYS. Because of that truth, and because of the time I spent(d) with Him, my desire will always be for His presence. Wherever He is, that’s where I want to be. I’m free, loved, protected, guided, directed, acknowledged, known, taught, fearless, confident, strong, HIS!

EMBRACING HUMILITY & HOPE

After being reminded of this most precious time with Him, BY HIM, I was humbled.

There’s something that happens when you start praying, “God make me more like Your Son.”

He starts changing things inside in order to give us a more heavenly perspective on our situations.

I’ve already talked a little bit about this in the post Be Reconciled with God, But Why?, but the difference is the beautiful imagery that He gave me about His presence.

It’s so easy to be consumed by all the bad that’s going on in our lives and world, but our eyes need to be on the One Who has authority over it all.

He wants to let us know that we WILL have hard times, but we can take heart because He’s overcome the world.

Look back at that visual He gives us in Psalm 23. 

That’s not just for me, but for YOU TOO!!

He wants to be the One holding our hands through those dark valleys.

He wants to protect us in the midst of our enemies and darkness.

He wants to pour into us.

Jesus is not a genie, but a Creator waiting to love on us so deeply and intimately.

I just needed to share with you guys the special message He gave me in the midst of hard times I was personally facing.

I hope you can be encouraged and want that precious, intimate, peaceful, REAL relationship with Jesus.

What are your thoughts on Psalm 23?

Everyone in one way or another is dealing with a hard time or WILL deal with a hard time. Find out how to find hope in the midst of hard times.

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