It’s your dream. Your heart’s desire.
It’s a crisis. Your life feels fragile.
A Sudden Illness.
A Broken Relationship.
A Major Loss.
A Rebellious Child.
It’s a long-term problem. You’re starting to feel hopeless.
An Overwhelming Debt
A Crisis in Weight Management
A Chronic Illness or Pain
How to be Patient and Happy When Your Problems are Big
1. Pray. Pray. Pray.
I’m reading Job during my quiet time. It hit me recently that Job lays it all out there before God. He doesn’t use pretty words or sugar-coat his feelings. He cries out to God and God understands.
My friend, drop to your knees. Cry out. God knows your circumstances and your hopes and dreams. And He loves you. Whatever your Heavenly Father is allowing, He wants to talk with you about it.
But in my distress, I cried out to the Lord; yes, I prayed to my God for help. He heard me from His sanctuary; my cry to him reached His ears. Psalm 18:6
2. Do today what you can do today.
If your big problem includes a need for change it’s not unusual to feel overwhelmed and stuck. Grab a piece of paper and start listing small ways you can start to make changes. Maybe it’s time to add 10-15 minutes of exercise to your day or develop a budget and spending strategy. Maybe it’s time to talk to your doctor or find a counselor.
You will feel much more hopeful if you are moving forward even if you’re only taking baby steps.
“The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today.” ~H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
3. Trust that God is doing today what only He can do.
I lose patience with the big things because I start to think, “What if I never. What if it never.”
Never is a hard discouraging word that you should probably take out of your vocabulary. God is the God of hope. Nothing is impossible for Him.
Ask Him to work in your situation to heal, to change hearts, to restore. to do the seemingly impossible.
“I am the Lord, the God of all the peoples of the world. Is anything too hard for me?“ Jeremiah 32:27
4. Apply short-term doing to long-term thinking.
If you’re working toward a long-term goal, keep your eye on the finish line. A marathon is run one step at a time but it takes thousands to complete the 26 miles.
Don’t quit and don’t lose hope.
“Hope is called the anchor of the soul (Hebrews 6:19), because it gives stability to the Christian life. But hope is not simply a ‘wish’ (I wish that such-and-such would take place); rather, it is that which latches on to the certainty of the promises of the future that God has made.” ~R. C. Sproul
5. Take a break and be happy.
When I have a big problem it’s hard to stop thinking about it. I plan, plot, and strategize. I work it over this way and then I work it over again that way. You might call it worry. I get it. Big problems are hard to ignore.
But for your health and well-being you absolutely MUST take a break. Do something fun. Go out with a friend. Plan a day away for your family. Take those thoughts captive and replace them with happiness.
Set an appointment with your problem. Say, “I refuse to think about this right now. I will take 30 minutes tonight at 9 PM to think about what I can do tomorrow. Today I’m going to be happy and have fun!
Praise the Lord, because He heard my prayer for help. The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust Him, and He helps me. I am very happy, and I praise Him with my song. Psalm 28:6–7
6. Find the purpose in this moment.
Whatever is happening in your life, God is allowing it for His plans and purpose. He can use it to bless and encourage others. When people see the way God gives you His indescribable peace, unimaginable strength, and impossible hope . . . they see God’s power in your life. It gives Him glory.
Keep your focus on Him and allow Him to use your circumstances for His glory.
“Believe, when you are most unhappy, that there is something for you to do in the world. So long as you can sweeten another’s pain, life is not in vain.” ~ Helen Keller
7. Keep an eternal perspective.
As bad as things may be . . . it is not the end.
You and I were made for eternity and we cannot begin to imagine the glories that are waiting for us there.
So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever. 2 Corinthians 4:18
Friend, I’ve been there. Rev and I have lived through long waits and big problems.
Don’t you just love those two words?
But God… has remained faithful in every circumstance. He has strengthened us and given us hope. And I promise He will be with you as well.
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