Have you ever experienced an earthquake?
The first time the earth trembled beneath my feet was in the most unlikely of places: the normally tranquil island of St. Maarten!
I was in a quaint shop – one filled with pristine shelves lined with lovely glass trinkets – when the ground began to rumble beneath my feet. The fragile items I was admiring began to shake, rattle, and roll. Several collectables crashed to the ground.
I froze. I wasn’t sure what was happening. I didn’t know what to do!
Sometimes, life changes instantaneously.
In the midst of our ordinary days, we sometimes find ourselves caught in extraordinary circumstances that take us far outside of our comfort zones.
Without warning, we find ourselves face to face with the unknown.
How do we find the courage to face life in the midst of life-altering circumstances? How do we find peace when it feels like our world is falling apart? How do we maintain hope when our future is filled with uncertainty? As parents, we need to have these tools in order to coach and comfort our kids when they go through troubles in their own lives.
As Christians, we look unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, for the answers. (Hebrews 12:2)
When Jesus Was Distressed, He Prayed – We Should Too!
But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. – Luke 5:16
Whenever Jesus found Himself facing difficult circumstances, He retreated to solitary places to pray. He found that time spent in prayer and solitude gave Him clarity of mind and purpose and renewed his spirit.
If Jesus – the Son Of God – relied so heavily on prayer to help Him through the cataclysmic moments of His life – shouldn’t we too?
Here are a few important principles from Scripture to help us approach Our Heavenly Father with confidence when we pray:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. – 1 John 5:14
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. – Mark 11:24
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Our Bibles Sustain Us With Wisdom And Strength
Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him. – Proverbs 30:5
In the midst of life’s trials, we can also gain immeasurable strength directly from the Word of God. By spending daily time reading our Bibles, memorizing God’s promises and applying God’s principles to our lives, we learn that God is for us (Romans 8:31) and will never let us down.
Here are a few life-sustaining principles and promises from Scripture to help us navigate our way through difficult times.
Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. – 1 Peter 5:7
The Lord will keep you from all harm – He will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. – Psalm 121:7-8
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea. – Psalm 46:1-2
Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. – John 14:27
If God Loves Us, Why Do We Face So Many Trials?
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. – John 16:33
God has a plan and a purpose for each of our lives (Jeremiah 29:11). Like caterpillars who are meant to become beautiful butterflies, God wants to transform us into new creations who will become conformed into the image of His Son (2 Corinthians 5:17, Romans 8:29).
God doesn’t always shield us from adversity because He doesn’t want to stunt our spiritual growth. He knows that caterpillars will never blossom into butterflies that can fly if they remain shielded in their cozy cocoons. No matter what we face in life, however, God is with us.
God is the potter – we are the clay (Isaiah 64:8). In the midst of life’s trials, God asks us to put our faith in Him and promises to see us through life’s changes (Psalm 146).
Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you. – Deuteronomy 31:6
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. – Philippians 4:13
Relatable Stories Provide A Great Way To Help Tweens Deal With Transitions
One curveball that life can throw us is an unexpected move – especially during the formative years! That’s the bind that city slicker Jules – a Manhattan raised teenager – faces when she learns that her family will soon be living on a 300-acre ranch in Texas!
How will Jules’ family care for three horses, five dogs, and twenty-five longhorns – all by themselves? How will Jules fare on a farm?
Share side-splitting laughs, heart-wrenching tears, and the surprising life lessons Jules learns down on the farm with your tweens in That’s Not Hay In My Hair by 17-year old author Juliette Turner!
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How has your faith sustained you through the difficult passages in your life? What Bible verses can you share with others to offer them strength and guidance as they navigate their way through life’s ups and downs? Please share your thoughts in the comments and have a blessed day!