Perhaps the only thing worse than experiencing adversity firsthand is watching a loved one go through difficulties. What can you do? What should you say? Should you say anything at all? Each circumstance requires sensitivity and prayer. There are no easy answers, but God’s Word provides reliable advice for every situation. Here are a few pointers to get you started.
1. How Do I Move Beyond Discouragement?
The journey begins with elevating our perspective and remembering God’s faithfulness. If we are going to move from despair to hope, we must fill our hearts with compassion and find our strength in God. Regardless of events going on around us, we need to serve Him faithfully. As we build our lives on the foundation of Jesus Christ, we can contribute in ways that will outlive us, outlast us, and restore hope for the future.
2. I Am Afraid to Fail. How Can I Be Effective for God?
Throughout Scripture, we see God helping His children overcome their fears and weaknesses, and He promises to do the same for us. When we don’t know what to do and we’re caught up in fearful insecurity, we need to focus on the knowledge that God has called us to something—that He has given our lives a purpose. Keeping our eyes on Him will fill our hearts with optimism and hope. God does not require us to be successful or perfect, just faithful.
3. How Do I Remain Strong When Facing an Ongoing Illness?
The greatest challenge is to keep trusting God. The loss of health exposes us to possible suffering, chronic pain, and losing all we hold dear in life. Health challenges should be faced the same way we face any other challenge in the Christian life—with faith in God’s power to accomplish His purposes. It is important to remember that as long as we’re in this world, God intends to use us. Our work isn’t over until He takes us home. In sickness or health, we should persevere—to do the work God has for us each day.
4. Will God Ever Stop Loving Me?
It is impossible for God to stop loving us. He not only loves; He is love (1 John 4:16). Paul described all the things that might possibly separate a Christian from God’s love in Christ, only to conclude that none of them “shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” If we feel unloved, we must focus on what the Bible says. God doesn’t love us because of what we do or don’t do; God loves us because He is love and it is His nature to love us. He cannot help Himself.
5. How Can I Experience Peace Amid Financial Troubles?
In such times, it is important to focus on what no one can take away: God’s love and our relationships with loved ones. The positive part of losing our treasure is remembering that earth is not a safe storehouse. Jesus exhorted His followers to store up treasure in heaven, not on earth. It is a reminder to us not to invest in things that are temporary but to invest in things that will last for eternity.
6. How Can I Deal With Anger Toward My Spouse?
Sinful anger is a threat in marriage just as it is in any relationship—only more so. Because of the time and intimacy involved, marriage is a perfect venue for displays of anger. The apostle Paul says the remedy is to deal quickly with the issues that fuel anger (Ephesians 4:26)—not impulsively, but in a way that promotes forgiveness and reconciliation. He also warns that failure to resolve anger quickly gives “place to the devil” (Ephesians 4:27). Swift reconciliation is the best way to keep the devil where he belongs—out of your marriage.
7. How Can I Deal With a Rebellious Child in My Home?
God puts parents in a place of responsibility in the home. Although parents can’t protect their adolescent children from the pain of rebellion, they can stay beside them to provide safety and security. Sometimes firm boundaries and loving correction are needed—prayerful parents must do their best to find wisdom. And they must remain the parents, letting the struggling child know that boundaries won’t be moved. Above all, parents must remain vigilant in their quest to love a rebellious child unconditionally and communicate that love.
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The content of this article is based on my book Answers to Questions About Adversity. If you would like to share biblical truth with someone but don’t know where to begin, this book provides topical information about suffering, temptation, anxiety, loneliness, family problems and more.