With a traumatic brain injury, sometimes it feels like you are suffering through every day; but it is crucial to seek the blessing in times of difficulty. I may have mentioned Jeremiah 29:11 (NASB) before: “For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for prosperity and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” For those who may not realize, I often quote from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) or the Holman Standard Christian Bible (HCSB). I often like how these translations phrase verses. Jeremiah 29:11 (HCSB) states: “For I know the plans I have for you”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” This was a promise for a specific group of people (
Pastor Johnny Kjaer quotes Paul from 2 Timothy 2:3-4 in his blog entry”3 Reasons to Have Strength in the Midst of Adversity” as one of four types of strength only God can is capable of providing:
3 Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.
A soldier stays focused on the purpose they are standing for in the midst of their fighting. They cannot begin to look around and be concerned about anything other than the situation right in front of them. Why? “The soldier was concerned to obey his commander twenty-four hours a day, and Paul wanted Timothy to display the same zeal in commitment to the Lord.”. Are you facing your adversity in the way that demonstrates that you will obey your commander no matter what He has asked you to do? “
Pastor Kjaer is discussing the Roman Army here of course, but this is still true today.
In June 2019 (before the world experienced COVID), Nancy DeMoss Woglemoth spoke about hardship in a series called “Enduring Life’s Hardships“. She is married November 14, 2015 and this series was produced after her wedding; but has worked for Life Action Ministries since 1980. Her radio show Revive Our Hearts and her books are encouraging and inspirational (some of these were written while she was still single) – if you are ever interested.
It is not easy to find contentment in times of hardship; but it is possible. As it states in Philippians 4:10-12 (HCSB): “I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that once again you renewed your care for me. You were, in fact, concerned about me but lacked the opportunity to show it. I don’t say this out of need, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. 12 I know both how to have a little, and I know how to have a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content—whether well fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need.“
Contentment is worth having while striving through difficult circumstances.