Faith In Times Of Hardship

Monday, March 9, 2020
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Listen while you read: "There Were Ninety And Nine"1 (Lyrics)

I recently had a blow — with a diagnosis that I had a rare form of crippling arthritis. As this uninvited guest took over my days and nights with chronic pain, my faith was pushed to the breaking point. Thankfully, God in His mercy has stretched and grown me in extraordinary ways. While needing help to get dressed can be very embarrassing and humbling, it builds character.

When life throws us a curveball, it can knock us off our feet, or even worse, put us out of commission. So, why does one person choose to throw in the towel after a single blow, while another decides to get back up and fight the good fight? Because one person accepts God's outstretched hand and the other rejects it. Daily, we need to be reminded that man brought suffering upon us by choosing his own way over God's way. If we hold fast to our faith that God loves us and wants the best for us, especially during hardships, He will empower us with His Holy Spirit. Therefore, as C.S. Lewis wrote, "Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny." For this reason, everyone loves heart-warming movies where the underdogs triumph over their adversaries. They inspire us and motivate us to climb back into the ring and face our own demons head-on!

Although no one welcomes hardships, those who have reached for God's outstretched hand understand and even feel a sense of joy knowing the truth of what Paul wrote:

Romans 5:3-5 – Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (ESV)

If we are struggling today, let us accept God's outstretched hand. He is lovingly and patiently waiting for us to make that choice.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, Your love is strong. You have told us that Your plan is not what we would work out, but You reach down in love to pilot us when Your plans don't seem to make sense to us. May we experience the joy that Your presence offers, for Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

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About the author:

Lois Macdonald <>
Oshawa, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you.

    Thanks for the good word, Lois.

    Heartfelt thanks for today’s message of Hope.

    Thank you. Exactly what I needed to hear this morning.

    Thank you, Lois, for sharing your situation and your faith with us.

    Appreciate your clear understanding and message of hope today, Lois.
    Yay for another Presbycanner!

    Praying for you as you keep on keeping on through Christ Jesus’ strength.
    Thanks for sharing. Blessings.

    This is a lovely devotional today, Lois. Thanks for sharing.
    Blessings on your day!

    Good morning Lois
    There are so many of us struggling with a health issue of some kind, but the Lord will give us strength to cope
    Thank you for writing.

    Dear Lois,
    Thank you for your encouraging devotional, born as it is out of your own painful experience and your faith in God. Praise be to God for His faithfulness.
    Blessings as He walks with you each day!

    Lois, thank you for your devotional. Yes, hardship can point us towards God’s help. Arthritis is painful and I’m sorry that it has settled upon you. It is humbling to accept help. May God’s Presence continue to comfort and strengthen you through the coming days. Blessings.

    Thank you, Lois,
    Your message will bring inspiration and comfort to many people, I am sure. I was touched by it because I often wonder how I will handle health issues as I am getting older and they are inevitable. God is faithful, but we sometimes need a reminder. A real-life example works for me!

    Thank you for today’s inspiration. It’s Monday morning and I am feeling my age and infirmities. Getting going for another round with grandchildren but I just want to sit in my easy-chair and not think about it for a while. But the day doesn’t wait for you. The sun is already well up. Actually, your devotion is one of three encouraging messages so yes. I will face the day with the Lord’s grace and anticipation of the day’s possibilities. Get ready. Get set. Go!

    Dear Lois:
    Thank you for sharing your story. God blesses us with the courage we need to face days like these, He blesses us with patience and humility. I always tell myself that whatever pain I am in, it is nothing compared to what Jesus endured on the cross for my sins. I find His love so very comforting.
    I know He is helping you too Lois and I pray that the Lord will continue to help and guide you in all that you do.

    Amen, Lois!!! I identified so much with your devotional as I too have faced many ‘challenges’ throughout this year! I have been learning to depend on God and been growing in my faith like never before! It’s almost a year since my husband died unexpectedly! I didn’t know how much strength He would give me until faced with multitudinous challenges!
    Thanks be to God for His great love! As you stated so well, His outstretched hand is there for us to choose to accept!
    Blessings in your journey.

    Greetings Lois,
    Thank you for this most meaningful devotional. Yes, whatever difficulties we face in life, if we turn to Jesus, He is there to guide us through and, although we wonder at times why these things are happening, He has a plan and it is the right one. We have to keep reminding ourselves to be patient and wait for answers to our prayers but so often we want the answer now, right now, but our Lord knows what is the right time as He lovingly cares for us.
    Blessings for writing.

    Thank you so much for your devotional today! You gave me some much-needed encouragement.

    “If we are struggling today, let us accept God’s outstretched hand. He is lovingly and patiently waiting for us to make that choice.”

    True in the big matter of accepting the Lord’s provision for our salvation and in the steps and decisions afterwards, May we reach for and hold Our Lord’s hand.
    Keep writing for His sake.

    Beautiful Lois, everyone should read this, especially in these uncertain times.
    Many thanks.

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