In the Hard Times

Hard-Times-Grey-Fisted1None of us like tough times or challenges.  None of us like times of trial, or times of worry, or times of stress.  These are all times that we turn away from, times we we don’t like, times we great, and yes, even times that will haunt us and stay with us for a long while.

There are times in our life that are so hard, that literally feel like days, months, or years of our lives are wasted and gone, time we will never get back, time that is gone for us.  These times trial can cause us to even think that God is not there, that we have failed, that our faith is crushed.

You may be going through a tough time right now, and that’s how you feel.  You may be going through a hard time right now, and you’re wondering, where is God, how is this going to get better, how is this going to change, how can I keep going?

Today, listen to the words of James 1: 2-4.  This time of trial may be a great blessing to you, believe it or not:

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Count these times joy.  I know it doesn’t sound right. I know it doesn’t even make sense. But it’s true.  These tough times, they will make us strong. They will make us better.  We will grow.  We will find our way.  We will find that God is there.

See, that’s the thing that I’ve come to realize about times of trial.  We feel like God’s not there. We all feel that way. But what we come to find out, in time, is that it is God that is carrying us.  It is God that is giving us the strength to keep going.  It is God that is pulling us forward, holding us close, giving us strength.

No matter how hard the challenge is today, God is with you.  Know that. Remember that.  Don’t give up.  Don’t give up.  Don’t give up.

Even if you don’t feel it, God is there. Don’t give up.

For this time of trial, it will grow you.  It will change you.  It will make you better.  It will.  Believe that. Keep going.

Even in the hard times.

Don’t forget, you can click here to download Asbury’s mobile app and read these devotionals, as well as listen to my sermons on your smart phone

When You Feel Alone

urlSometimes, in the midst of trials and troubles, it is very easy for us to think that we are all alone.  It is very easy for us to believe that there is no help for us when we in the midst of a “spiritual battle.”

We can feel like the fight we are fighting is unlike anything else ever faced.
We can feel like our struggle is too great, and there is no relief, nothing that anyone can do, and no way that this fight ends well.
When we are facing temptation, facing that struggle, we can feel as though there is no way out, no hope, no chance.
We can feel defeated before the fight has really even began.
Listen to the words of Hebrews 2: 17-18:

Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

Jesus Christ was made like us, walked as we walk, talked as talk, faced everything we face.
If you face it, Jesus faced it.  He was tempted as we were.  He faced temptation.  He faced struggles.  He faced trials and troubles.
And hear what it says. Because He did this, He is able to help us in our trials.  In our troubles.  In our struggles.
You are not alone.  You are not forgotten.  You are not forsaken.  You are not alone in this trial.  You are not alone in this trouble.  You are not alone in this time.
God is with you.  Jesus will uphold you. The Spirit will strengthen you.  His Church will be there for you.
Yes, we face real temptations and trials.
And yes, through Jesus Christ, the God of creation is there with us, in the midst of them, upholding us.
So, today, when you feel alone, forgotten, forsaken.  Remember,  Jesus is there.  He faced what we face, and He has overcome.
And through Him, we will overcome.
Today, may we find our strength in Him.

Don’t forget, you can click here to download Asbury’s mobile app and read these devotionals, as well as listen to my sermons on your smart phones.


There is nothing better, after a long day of work, or a hard day of a play, than to take a good, long bath. Nothing like the feeling of going from being just filthy, to being clean.

That’s one of the things that God wants to do for us. He wants to make us clean. In our lives, we have a way of getting dirty. Some it comes from our own choices. Some of it comes from the stuff of life. Some it comes from just life.

And when we are dirty, we don’t fill worthy. We feel like we can’t come into the presence of God. We feel like we just can’t do it.

Listen to what God says today through Malachi 3:2-4:

But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the Lord. Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years.

The Lord will be like a refiner’s fire. He will be like a fuller’s soap. He will make us clean. He will purify us.

He will make us worthy. He will.

You won’t. You will never “make” yourself worthy of God. You will never be “good” enough. It’s not something you can do.

God will do it. He will purify you. He will clean you. Now, yes, this may be tough at time.

A refiner’s fire may be really hot. It may even hurt. A fuller’s soap may be a little painful at times. Yeah, bath time might not be a lot of fun.

But, it’s worth it. This test you are facing, this trial, whatever ever it is, it will give you two choices.

Run to God, or run away from God. If you cause whatever you are facing to make you run to God, He will use it.

He will use this time to purify you. Clean you. Make you better. Make you holy.

Make you worthy.

Today, God’s desire, His hope, His plan, is to refine you. Make you better. Make you like He created you to be.

Today, may we find our life, our hope, our purity, our worth, in the goodness of God.

May He wash us clean today!

Don’t forget, you can click here to download Asbury’s mobile app and read these devotionals, as well as listen to my sermons on your smart phones.

When, Not If

When we pass through the waters, with God with us, we will not drown.

When we pass through fires, with God with us, we shall not be consumed.

When. Not if.

Isaiah 43:1-3 is one of my favorite passages of scripture.  Listen to what it says:

But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in exchange for you.

I first really heard this passage of scripture when I was a camp counselor at Twin Lakes Camp outside of Jackson, MS when I was in college. And at that point, this became, for me, one of those passages that I come back to over and over and over again in my life.

I love it. Because of what I stressed above. When we pass through the waters. When we pass through the fires. Not if. When. When we do it.

We will be ok. It will be ok. We won’t be consumed. We won’t be drowned.

For He is the Lord our God. He has called us by name. By name. He knows your name and has called you by it. He has redeemed you. You are is. He is the holy one, your God. He loves you.

So, when, not if, you pass through the troubles and the trials of life, He will be there with you and for you. He will not leave you. He will not forsake you. You are His. He is yours. He loves you.

So, today, if you are going through the fire, and through the water today, He is with you. He has called you. You are His.

And if you are going through the waters, know that you will. It will happen. You will face these trials and troubles.

You will be ok. He will not leave you. You will not be overwhelmed. For you are His. Never forget. Remember. You are His.

Even in the fire. Even in the water. He has redeemed you. You are His.