The following was written in 2009. What I experienced then holds true six years later and will for the rest of my life. May it encourage you in whatever situation you may find yourself…
Layoffs and other tragedies. The call came on Monday, February 23, 2009 at 4:10 p.m. “I’ve been laid off,” Paul’s words rang in my ears. My heart sank as I hung up the phone. Then a question popped into my mind, “Do you believe what you tell others?”
When others want to know who God is, I point to God’s own words about Himself in Exodus 34:6‑7, “Then the LORD passed by in front of him [Moses] and proclaimed, ‘The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin…’”
I’ve told others the trouble they are going through is God’s mercy in allowing them to see their need for reliance on Him alone, pointing them to 2 Corinthians 1:8-9, “I think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters, about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia. We were crushed and completely overwhelmed, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we learned not to rely on ourselves, but on God who can raise the dead.”
Many times I’ve told those who are disappointed and disillusioned the good news found in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the LORD. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.’”
For those who seem to be facing impossible situations, I share Luke 18:27, “He [Jesus] replied, ‘What is impossible from a human perspective is possible with God.’”
This is but a small sampling of the truths I’ve taught and shared with others over the last several years. Will I practice what I preach and allow the truths of God to penetrate my heart and enable me to stand firm in an ever-changing world? I answer with the statement of faith made by Peter found in John 6:66‑69, “At this point many of his disciples turned away and deserted him. Then Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked, ‘Are you going to leave, too?’ Simon Peter replied, ‘Lord, to whom would we go? You alone have the words that give eternal life. We believe them, and we know you are the Holy One of God.’”
I felt God’s comforting arms surround me as I heard Him say to me, “I am your refuge and strength, an ever‑present help in trouble. Therefore you will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. . . . Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:1-3,10.
My joyful reply to my Father God, “Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vine; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the LORD! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation. The Sovereign LORD is my strength! He will make me as surefooted as a deer and bring me safely over the mountains.” Habakkuk 3:17‑19.
What is God calling you to believe? It is a certainty each one reading this has a heart that has experienced or is experiencing tragedy, pain, or difficult and scary circumstances. It is my prayer for each of you, you will choose to believe God is who He says He is and that He can do what He says He can.