Plan A As believers, our secret weapon is the Bible, especially when life gets tough. When life gets tough who or what do we look too? When If we are keeping it real…I know for me scripture can oftentimes be my last option. My standard response is to shut down, eat, and sleep. While this provides some temporary relief it does not bring any hope, joy or peace. So…I had to make some changes. When life gets real… For the past year, my husband and I have had to navigate some tough and uncertain times. We have seen the loss of jobs, loss of friends, death of family members, financial changes and the list could go on and on. As a type-A personality type who likes to have control over every part of my life, these challenges created a bit of anxiety and worry in my life. During the middle of the storm, which if I am honest continues to brew, I must have something to hold onto. Although I have been a believer since I was five my walk with Christ has never been tested in such a real way. This past year I believe my faith has grown because of the tests and my willingness to search the Bible for answers and hope. He has equipped us with everything that we need but it’s up to us to do the work. Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take YOUR stand against the devil’s schemes. Ephesians 6:10-11 Are you willing to do the work? Why do we need the Bible? Throughout the Bible there are countless accounts of men and women who faced challenging and downright hard times. David was chased and hunted down by a paranoid king. The book of Psalm gives a detailed blueprint of the emotional rollercoaster that was David’s life. His days were filed with great joy, sorrow, disappointment and shame. Hannah, Samuel’s mother, was barren and desired child. To make matters worse her husbands other wife, Peninnah, ridiculed her to the point where she wouldn’t eat (1 Samuel 1:7) because she was childless. Jesus, our beloved Savior and son of God, was no stranger to tough times. He died as an innocent man for the sins of the entire world. That means He died for me and you, for our past, present and future mistakes. These stories were not included in the Bible just for us to read over and forget. They are given to us as gifts (see Hebrews 12) and as reminders that we 1. We are not alone and 2. The Lord is faithful in every situation. Rooted in truth: Bible verses for tough times Truly He is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress I will never be shaken. Psalm 62:6 Application: Jesus Christ is a sure foundation so we can depend on him when we feel uncertain, confused, disappointed or lost. The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in my spirit. Psalm 34:18 Application: He is always near even when we feel at our lowest and loneliest moments. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us and eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes on not what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 Application: We have an eternal hope and future that will last forever. Let us keep our eyes on the one who knows our beginning and end. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights. Habakkuk 3:19 Application: We are going to face some tough situations where it feels like our footing is ensured but the Lord will strengthen us through His power to navigate those times. It will not be in our strength but through His strength, power, and guidance. God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth gives way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though it’s waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. Psalm 46:1-3 Application: He is always there! He will never shy away from hard, challenging, or bad situations. Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:18-19 Application: Like the old folks used to say….”Trouble don’t last always”! God is the ultimate creator and maker of new things. Be encouraged that this is not where you will remain, have an eternal focus, and realize that He makes all things new! Final Thoughts For the believer the Word of God provides encouragement, correction, admonishment, examples and most importantly hope. Be encouraged during these tough times and know that your heavenly Father sees you and knows your story. Lean on and into His word because that is where life begins.