Tough Times

Tough Times: hardships, difficulties, setbacks, misfortunes

 A cloudy day is no match for a sunny disposition. William A Ward

 Tough times never last, but tough people do! Robert Schuller  

 Bad is never good until worse happens. Danish Proverb  

  Tough times have a way of causing us to change focus. We slow down our throttle, proceed more cautiously, and often change modes from playing offense to playing defense. Our focus changes from going forward to trying to prevent ourselves from going backwards and losing the ground we have already gained.

   When times are good, we are more likely to be on the offense, eyes forward, advancing, making plans, and thinking positively about what lies down the road. We are not so much focused on what can go wrong; concerned about our jobs, finances, general security and well-being. There is enough comfort and security that keeps us from worrying about hardships and difficulties. The greater our sense of security the more likely we are concentrated on continuing the effort to move forward.

    Life does require facing and experiencing our fair share of tough times. It is required learning. We may be our own worst enemy and causing our own problems; or conditions beyond our control are causing times to be tough. It can be that we are in the wrong place at the wrong time. Tough times should bring to mind the knowledge and experience we have gained from all of the storms we have experienced and survived. Storms can be mild and minor disruptions or can be very severe causing us great concern and difficulty as we ride them out.

    Storms develop, have their day, get our attention and then they go away. Most often things get back to normal quickly, but depending upon the damage, it may take a while for normalcy to return. Storms eventually subside. Clouds disappear. Storms have their moment and our undivided attention as we must endure them. We should patiently wait for their demise. Blue skies will return. Sometimes it takes us a little while to get back on track.

     The more severe the challenges, the more we must pay attention to conditions and circumstances. It may require “battening down the hatches” to minimize potential damages. Conditions may warrant taking more defensive and cautious approaches in places where we are most vulnerable. We may need to err on the safe side, avoid unnecessary risks, postpone the unnecessary, and think in terms of defense instead of offense. Just as it is with storms, the tough times will come to their end, and it becomes time to get back on the sunny side of life.

 Challenge: When times are tough, some give in to becoming a victim and all that goes with it, such as worry, doubt, fear and crying “why me”. You can be the leaf at the wind’s mercy with no control of your destiny. A better choice is to be a survivor and a victor. Persevere, keep your composure and live on to fight another day. Tough times may knock you down. Your task is to always get back up, repair the damage and keep on trucking.

 Wisdom: No power in society, no hardship in your condition can depress you; keep you down, in knowledge, power, virtue, influence, but by your own consent. William Channing

 Spiritual: (NIV)

In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5, 6

 

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. James 1:5

 We live by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7

 Fear, doubt and worry; are evils adding difficulty and burdens to life. The more we give in to them, the more difficult it is to find any degree of joy and happiness. These handicaps can cause life to be miserable.  It does not have to be that way. Many chose to look to God for strength and direction. They are empowered with faith and confidence, giving them increased spiritual power as they learn to become victors instead of victims.

 Prayer: Help me to keep my eyes on you. Help me to let go and let you show me the way.                                          

 

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