When you consider the hardships of your life, the obstacles before you, the pain you are experiencing or the resources that are needed, what is most difficult? Is the hardest part in your past, what has already happened or led up to this point? Or, is the scariest part related to what is happening right now? Chances are, the greatest challenges are related to the future - and what might or might not happen, and the related emotions that arise from those possibilities.
Most of the deep battles we face are battles of thoughts (and the feelings tied to those thoughts). When we think accurately, and when our interpretation of reality is in sync with God's Kingdom, our emotions will generally be healthy. However, when we get caught up in all that could go wrongly in the future, and we allow our interpretation of those possibilities to become darkened and disconnected from God, our negative emotions tend to multiply.
Most of the difficulties and challenges we face in life are not paralyzing or insurmountable. Faulty understanding of God and His ways, however, can make them feel that way. Worry and fear about the future are the primary tools the enemy uses against us. He lives and dwells in deceptive, illusionary thoughts about the future. These thoughts evoke negative feelings of doubt and fear.
When we face hardships we don't need to pray that they go away, but rather that God will help us understand Him, His will and His perspective of those hardships. The challenges and difficulties of life are some the principle building blocks that God uses to build us in character, faith and Christ-likeness. We don't need them to go away; better that we learn to walk through them with the help and power of God's presence.
King David wrote, "I sought the Lord, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears." (Psalm 34:4) Note, God did not make David's problems disappear; He delivered David from their associated fears. Later in the psalm, David said the Lord saved him out of his troubles - or more literally "opened wide a way from his tight circumstances." God will always make a way; we need not live in fear. Instead, we must live in the present (that's where God dwells; He has revealed Himself as "I Am" - Exodus 3:14), and believe Him for the future. (Jeremiah 29:11-13). God is good, He loves you, and He has a purposeful and beneficial destiny for you - you can take that to the faith and emotional bank!
Are you facing some hard stuff? Don't allow your mind to run down needless negative possibilities and scenarios - this is often the trap of the devil that will lead you to hopelessness and fear. Rather, choose to dialog with God right now - in the present. Receive His love for you, and declare that He will lead you into the future. This can change everything!
Receiving God in the present with you,