Surprise! But, not a surprise I wanted.

Blue bubbles and the distinct smell of soap merged rather unpleasantly with the aroma of hamburger startled me when I lifted the lid covering my lunch. Just moments earlier I’d pulled the pan back out of the sink rinsed it, and tossed my burger back in after realizing it wasn’t done yet. In my haste and irritation, I’d only made matters worse. So much for my easy lunch plans.

Have you ever noticed that life has a way of catching us off guard whether it’s a “ruined” lunch or moment when life doesn’t turn out the way we’d expected or life smacks us with challenges far bigger that really rock our world? Lately I haven’t had to look far to find someone weary and worn out by current challenges or exhausted by the constant struggles of everyday life. Some days we don’t have to look farther than the mirror. No doubt there are days where we’d all wish our difficulties were just dish soap in our lunch.

5 things to remember about God when life is tough:

1. You’re never alone.

No matter what you’re going through, you’re never alone! God’s with us in whatever season we’re going through. He’s as close as the whispers of your heart. When worry tries to convince you that you’re facing your troubles alone, remember the words of Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

2. We might be surprised, but He isn’t.

A diagnosis, a lost job, financial struggles or relationship troubles may catch us off guard, but none of our problems surprise God. He already knew about this bend in the road and he knows how we’ll come out on the other side. Bring him your worries and he will refresh you. “This,” whatever you’re facing didn’t surprise him so why not ask for his help?He loves you and ready and able to give you strength and peace amidst your storm.

3. When we’re weak, He’s strong.

If you’ve ever felt like you weren’t enough to face everything that wars to weigh you down, rest assured you don’t need to carry it on your own. God is bigger than your troubles and more than strong enough to lift your burden. On the days you feel like a puddle, lean on him. He will give you the strength to stand. And, when it is time to move forward, he will give your direction and the courage to take your next step.

4. He’s a God of new beginnings.

Life’s journey is a series of chapters. Turning the page closing some chapters can be bittersweet. Don’t look at endings as a final word but instead as a launching point. When we allow one chapter to close, another one can begin because God is the God of new beginnings. Our journey doesn’t end when we reach a crossroads. Choose to welcome the new beginnings that life brings your way.

5. He never gives up, even when we want to.  

When we’re at the end of our rope, we can be thankful that God doesn’t have an end to his. He knows our faults and flaws and loves us anyways. He knows we try but sometimes fall short. Even so, he never gives up on us or on our purpose. If you have breath in your lungs, he still has a purpose for you. Don’t give up! Reset your focus and take your next step. Don’t be discouraged by the size of the mountain. Trust him for your next step and go from there.

It’s Your Turn:

When you feel weary, take time to rest. Give yourself the gift of a few minutes of quite time to allow God to restore and refresh you. Maybe you can step outside and watch the sunset, or sit quietly or listen to music that will lift your spirits, or perhaps  connect with friends and family who care about you. Most importantly, be encouraged by these 5 things. and remember to lean on God. I can’t promise your troubles will instantly melt away, but I can promise you won’t walk alone.

This weekend I was encouraged by a song ( Lord Our God by Kristian Stanfill). It reminded me that God doesn’t leave us in the middle. Maybe it’s just the encouragement you need to day too.  

When life is tough, how do you life your spirits? What do you need to remind yourself about God to keep your troubles in perspective? I’d love to hear from you!  And, if this post encouraged you, why not signup for my email list so that you don’t miss future dose of encouragement?

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