3 T's for Tough Times

So you’ve had a rough day/week/month/year? The house flooded. You lost your job. Your child is on drugs. You dog died. Your girlfriend/boyfriend broke up with you.Years ago the Lord gave me a little outline that I have used personally and taught my children for when life gets challenging: 3 T’s for Tough Times. I hope they will help and encourage you.Tell the TruthThe first thing I do when I don’t like something in my life is have an honest conversation with God. I bring my concerns to Him, and I tell Him the truth about how I feel. Yes, I am respectful, even worshipful. But God has invited us to worship Him in Spirit and in truth. (John 4:24)I don’t believe He wants me to talk to him in the “correct way.” I am confident He wants me to tell Him that I am angry or hurt or confused or devastated or very afraid or…. I can tell Him what I like and what I don’t like about what is happening.But then comes T #2:Thank the LordGod makes some pretty preposterous commands sometimes: In everything give thanks, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)In everything? When the diagnosis is cancer? When your house is in foreclosure? When your daughter is cutting herself?Yes. Everything.Three wonderful things happen when I say Thank You, Lord.1. My attitude begins to change, at least a little bit.2. I acknowledge to God and myself that I believe God is God and God is good. He is sovereign and His intentions toward me are good.3. I hand God the key to open the door to do the wonderful good that He wants to doThat brings me to T #3.Trust the GoodOf course you know the wonderful promise of Romans 8:28: And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.And perhaps this hopeful word will add more encouragement: And I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good for them. I will put a desire in their hearts to worship me, and they will never leave me. I will find joy doing good for them and will faithfully and wholeheartedly replant them in this land. (Jeremiah 32:40-41)When I trust the good—God and His intentions—I open my eyes, my mind, my heart. I begin to see the good He is doing in me, through me, in my loved one, in the situation. The more I trust His Godness and His goodness, the more I anticipate His involvement and intervention…in the Tough TimesThree simple truths:Tell the TruthThank the LordTrust the Good.What have been some of your recent tough times? What has helped you through them?C 2011 Judy Douglass