Everyone goes through situations and circumstances in life that can cause distress, worry or anxiety. Everyone has times when they feel “overwhelmed” or “outnumbered” by the things that are coming against them. We face tough problems every day such as economic struggles, family difficulties, health problems, moral crises, personal grief, and the nagging pressures of time.
When we are overwhelmed by life’s problems, we may become tired or even physically sick. We may become so “tied up in knots” that we are easily irritated and hard to live with. Many have said in desperation, “I have so much to do I don’t know where to begin!” Survival itself can become a struggle.
The people of the Bible also struggled with problems like these:
Psalm 116:3 – “…I saw only trouble and sorrow.”
Jacob described his 130 years of life to Pharaoh as “…few and evil…” (Genesis 47:9).
Moses spent a period of his life “wearing himself out” by taking on tasks too heavy for him alone (Exodus 18:17-18: “This is not good!” Moses’ father-in-law exclaimed. “You’re going to wear yourself out—and the people, too. This job is too heavy a burden for you to handle all by yourself”).
Job described life in this way: Job 14:1 – “How frail is humanity! How short is life, how full of trouble!”
Jeremiah became so discouraged that he said: Jeremiah 15:10 – “What sorrow is mine, my mother. Oh, that I had died at birth! I am hated everywhere I go.”
For many people each day is a huge struggle. Their questions are “What can we do about today?” “How can God help us today to have peace and joy?” “How will God help us today to withstand our burdens and trials?” They cry out, “Lord, I’m living one day at a time, but help me through today!”
God has made many great promises to His people to help us deal with the problems of life.
I. The promise of strength
First, He said, “I will give you strength” (Isaiah 40:28–31: “Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.”
Eric Liddel, the gold medalist portrayed in the movie “Chariots of Fire,” found his strength in this passage. Few people win gold medals, but many people who face struggles are heroes nonetheless. They keep striving because they know that God is with them.
Strength can be found in the Word (Psalm 1:1-3: “Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do”).
Strength can be found in prayer: (Psalm 10:17 – “Lord, you know the hopes of the helpless. Surely you will hear their cries and comfort them”).
In times of suffering, God will give us strength (1 Peter 5:10 – “In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation”).
Philippians 4:13 – “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” This should be a great encouragement to Christians in the midst of difficulties.
II. The promise of nearness
Secondly, God promised, “I will hold you in My hand.” Isaiah 41:10 – “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”
That means God hears the cries of His children, and He helps them to survive. The psalmist said: Psalm 145:14 – “The Lord helps the fallen and lifts those bent beneath their loads.”
Psalm 145:18-20: “The Lord is close to all who call on him, yes, to all who call on him in truth. He grants the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cries for help and rescues them. The Lord protects all those who love him, but he destroys the wicked.”
Psalm 68:19 – “Praise the Lord; praise God our savior! For each day he carries us in his arms.”
Psalm 59:16 – “But as for me, I shall sing of Your strength; Yes, I shall joyfully sing of your loving kindness in the morning, For You have been my stronghold and a refuge in the day of my distress.”
God is not distant from His people; He is always with them, doing what no one else can do. So when you think that you are about to be overcome by life’s circumstances, pray, “Lord, help me to remember that there is nothing that You and I cannot handle together.”
III. The promise of love
Third, God promised, “I will love you forever.” (Psalm 103:17-18: “But the love of the Lord remains forever with those who fear him. His salvation extends to the children’s children of those who are faithful to his covenant, of those who obey his commandments!”).
God’s love is not a crush, not fickle infatuation, but a sworn love from a righteous God who will never fail to keep His Word. (Lamentations 3:22 – “The faithful love of the Lord never ends!”).
God’s steadfast love is promised; it is a covenant love. Paul said that nothing can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:38-39: “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord”).