When You’re in Difficult Times

Post by Joel Osteen on March 20, 2020

We all face setbacks in life that we don't understand. When we go through loss and disappointment, it's easy to get discouraged and think that's the way it's always going to be. But our God is a God of restoration. He doesn't stop every difficulty. He doesn't keep us from every challenge. But He promises He will pay us back for the wrongs and restore what was taken away.

In Psalm 71, the psalmist says to God, "You have allowed me to suffer much hardship, but You will restore me to even greater honor." The suffering is a setup. God allowed the difficulty, not to make you miserable but to restore you to greater honor. God never brings you out the same. He makes the enemy pay for bringing the trouble.

When you're in tough times, you have to remind yourself that it's not how your story ends. The loneliness, the bad break, or the anxiety is not your destiny. Greater is coming—greater joy, greater strength, greater relationships. The setback in your finances, or the client you lost, or the unfair childhood didn't stop your purpose. Greater opportunities are coming. Greater favor. Greater influence. The enemy brought it to set you back. He didn't realize it's setting you up for God to show out in your life. He meant it for your harm; God is turning it to your advantage.

When you're in difficult times, keep this phrase in your spirit: "Greater is coming." God didn't bring you this far to leave you. He wouldn't have allowed it if it was going to keep you from your destiny. It's just the opposite. It's going to launch you into your destiny.

The apostle Paul says, "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory" (2 Corinthians 4:17). The trouble is temporary; the glory is permanent. The key is: Don't stay focused on the suffering; stay focused on the glory that's coming. It may be tough right now. Life has dealt you an unfair hand. That suffering is not in vain. It's serving a purpose. It's leading you to greater honor, greater favor, greater victory.

I love the psalmist's attitude: "God, You've allowed me to suffer much hardship, but I know this: You will restore me to greater honor." He was thanking God for greater in the middle of the difficulty. When you're in tough times, you can either talk about how big the problem is, or you can talk about how big your God is. If you're going to see the greater, in the middle of the difficulty start declaring, "Greater is coming."


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