Trusting God in Hard Times
When life is wearing us thin, is there a way to have hope in hard times? How can the Bible help in trusting God through trials and being positive?
Voiceover: Next on That’s in the Bible!
Martha: My question is why are there so many people that are filled with hate or that are haters? What’s the best way to deal with them to give you peace of mind and peace in your heart?
Brother Bob: Holy Scriptures teaches us that we need to wait, hope – be filled with hope. While we are filled with hope, wait; be patient. The Lord will not disappoint. He will not abandon His faithful servants.
Brother Bob : Hello, I’m Brother Bob Pellien. Thanks for joining us in this episode of That’s In the Bible. And our first question comes from Kristell Aragine in San Diego, California. Let’s hear what Kristell asks.
How to have hope in hard times and trusting God through trials
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Question: How can we overcome the difficulties in life?
San Diego, CA
Voiceover: How can we overcome the difficulties in life?
Brother Bob: Thank you Kristell for asking that question. It’s certainly a question that many ask now and again, and they write that question in to this program often. Please know that you’re not alone, Kristell. Many feel quite overwhelmed these days with the many burdens everyday life brings upon so many people in the times that we now live in. But here’s what the Bible reminds all of us to preserve within us, no matter what happens in life. Apostle Paul wrote this to the Romans in Romans 5:5. Here was his advice to them:
Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
[Romans 5:5 New King James Version]
Brother Bob: Kristell, never lose hope, that’s the advice of the apostle. Hope never disappoints. Never lose hope when you’re surrounded by troubles, surrounded by turmoils of so many different counts. And the reason to not lose hope is because of God’s love for His people. But then, you may want to say, “But I feel impatient. I feel anxiety as I face the various trials and difficulties of life.” Well, let’s please consider the Lamentations, chapter 3. The Lamentations of Jeremiah in Lamentations 3:26:
It is good that one should hope and wait quietly For the salvation of the LORD.
[Lamentations 3:26 New King James Version]
Brother Bob: The Holy Scriptures teaches us that we need to wait, hope – be filled with hope. And while we are filled with hope, wait; be patient. The Lord will not disappoint, He will not abandon His faithful servants.
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Filled with hope.
Brother Bob: So Kristell, what’s the most important thing that we should understand then, as we face various tribulations in life? Apostle Paul wrote about all these things to the Romans and mentioned that there’s actually something to be gained. That’s what some may wonder, “How can we gain something from experiencing difficulties, experiencing trials in life?” But he said there is something to be gained. Here’s what he told them. It’s recorded in Romans, chapter 5. What’s to be gained? Romans 5, let’s listen to verses 3 and 4 because it tells us precisely what is to be gained.
And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulations produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint.
[Romans 5:3-4 New King James Version]
Brother Bob: So Kristell, we must glory in experiencing these trials or feel happy about them. Why? Because we know, as we’ve just read there, there is a positive and good result experiencing trials. It’s not a waste; it’s not a time bad spent in life because there is a good ending result.
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“But what if everything and everyone seems to be going against me,” one may say, “and it seems that the trials and tribulations and the persecutions surrounding me in this life are just too much to bear?” Well, that leads to our next question, which came in from Martha Labrador in Buena Park, California. Let’s hear what Martha asks.
Being positive around negative people
Martha: Why are there so many people that are filled with hate or that are haters even though you don’t do anything bad to them? And what’s the best way to deal with them to give you peace of mind and peace in your heart?
Brother Bob: So, even though one may be filled with hope and having a positive outlook in life, sometimes they can just feel beat down when experiencing all such as described there – hate and persecution from, maybe, from family members; betrayed, one may feel betrayed by friends or such things as that. Well, Martha, we agree with you. It is truly sad that there are so many people like that, as you described them, in the world nowadays. But is this a surprise? Should we feel surprised that people act in such a way? You know, it was actually predicted by Apostle Paul in his letter to Timothy. Let’s take a look at it. It’s recorded here, 2 Timothy, chapter 3, we’ll read verses 1 all the through verse 5, wherein he describes people in our times. Here’s how he described them”
But understand this, that in the last days will come (set in) perilous times of great stress and trouble [hard to deal with and hard to bear]. For people will be lovers of self and [utterly] self-centered, lovers of money and aroused by an inordinate [greedy] desire for wealth, proud and arrogant and contemptuous boasters. They will be abusive (blasphemous, scoffing), disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane. [They will be] without natural [human] affection (callous and inhuman), relentless (admitting of no truce or appeasement); [they will be] slanderers (false accusers, troublemakers), intemperate and loose in morals and conduct, uncontrolled and fierce, haters of good. [They will be] treacherous [betrayers], rash, [and] inflated with self-conceit. [They will be] lovers of sensual pleasures and vain amusements more than and rather than lovers of God. For [although] they hold a form of piety (true religion), they deny and reject and are strangers to the power of it [their conduct belies the genuineness of their profession]. Avoid [all] such people [turn away from them].
[2 Timothy 3:1-5 Amplified Bible]
Brother Bob: So, it’s not a surprise. So, we look in the world and we see all these kinds of people. How can we overcome it then, when we’re surrounded by people who have these kind of tendencies described here by Apostle Paul? Tendencies to mistreat us and mistreat others? Should we try to seek for revenge? Should we try to find a way to get even, one way or another? There was some important advice given by Apostle Paul in his letter to the Romans about that very thing. And although it may be, it may be human nature to want to get revenge; to want to get back; to return evil for evil, as the saying goes, but you know, he gave some very important insight here in Romans, chapter 12. Let’s begin in verse 19, we’ll also read verse 14, as well as 20-21:
Dear friends, don’t try to get even. Let God take revenge. In the Scriptures the Lord says, “I am the one to take revenge and pay them back.” Ask God to bless everyone who mistreats you. Ask Him to bless them and not to curse them. The Scriptures also say, “If your enemies are hungry, give them something to eat. And if they are thirsty, give them something to drink. This will be the same as piling burning coals on their heads.” Don’t let evil defeat you, but defeat evil with good.
[Romans 12:19,14, 20-21 Contemporary English Version]
Brother Bob: So the advice is simple and clear – overcome, or defeat, evil with good deeds. What was the instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ regarding this? And suppose we are thinking of individuals in our life that, well, could be in that category of being counted as an enemy; here’s what our Lord Jesus Christ said. Let’s see if He said we should get revenge. We heard from Apostle Paul. This time, the insight comes directly from the savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, and here’s what He said, in the book of Matthew 5:43, 44 and 45:
You have heard people say, ‘Love your neighbors and hate your enemies.’ But I tell you to love your enemies and pray for anyone who mistreats you. Then you will be acting like your Father in heaven.
[Matthew 5:43-45 Contemporary English Version]
Brother Bob: Jesus said do good to your enemy. Well, that’s all we have time for today. What you’ve heard is just an introduction to the teachings of the Bible taught here in the Church Of Christ. And we invite you to learn more and join with us. And if you have questions you’d like answered on this show, email them to us.
Brother Bob: And we’ll use the guidance of the Holy Scriptures to help you find your answers – the truth that’s in the Bible.
Thanks for watching. I’m Brother Bob Pellien and we’ll see you next time.