Jeremiah 29:11

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”

Life can be really hard sometimes. There are moments when we can see the purpose for the challenges, but those moments can be rare. It is so easy when those hard times come to question God’s plans or His love for us. We want God’s plans for us to be easy, but also bigger than ourselves. The problem is, those two hardly ever go hand in hand.

So often in Scripture we see people going through hard times. Israel was living in exile, Sarah couldn’t have a baby, Joseph was kidnapped, and enslaved. The disciples were constantly ridiculed for caring for outcasts. The list goes on and on. Through this we see that hardships are inescapable. In fact, they are actually promised. Jesus said that we will experience pain, hardship, and disappointment in this world. So it is not a matter of if we will go through hard times, but when we go through them.

Hardships are promised — it is a reality of life we cannot escape. However, we have another promise that will get us through. God has promised to always be with us. This promise can carry us through every hardship because God will always have a plan to work for the good of those who love him.

QUESTION 1. How can the promise of struggles prepare you to face hardships in your life?
QUESTION 2. How can the promise of God’s constant presence prepare you to face hardships in your life?
CHALLENGE: When you go through hard times, keep your focus on God’s promises rather than focusing on your struggles. Shift your perspective and see how that changes the battle.
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