How We Can Face the Hard Things – Encouragement for Today – November 19, 2018

Ruth Schwenk

November 19, 2018
How We Can Face the Hard Things

"Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you." Psalm 9:10 (NIV)

I couldn't see all the words my husband was scribbling on a scrap of paper because I was driving, but I knew it wasn't good. We'd just picked up our son when my husband received a phone call from a doctor. It was a call that would change our lives.

While I couldn't see the words clearly, or understand it all at the time, there was one word my husband wrote I did understand: Cancer.

My husband had been struggling with an injured hip from playing basketball, and the doctors had been running tests. Through a series of MRIs, they discovered a tumor in his hip. The call reported the source of his tumor, a type of blood cancer. With my son and his friend in the car, we drove the rest of the way home in silence. It felt like a horrible nightmare.

Over the next few weeks, uncertainty loomed, and I struggled to even function. How could this happen? How could my young, healthy husband, have cancer? No amount of T.V. could dull the pain and fear. Food wouldn't do it. Positive thoughts weren't enough. The only thing that would bring relief was God's Word. God's unchanging, reliable and faithful Word.

I searched Scripture, almost frantically, looking for encouragement. God's Word was no longer just something I read; it became something I devoured. Something I clung to, offering strength and hope to press on when everything felt like it was falling apart.

One verse I came to over and over again was Psalm 9:10: "Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you."

To "know" is to have experience of and with the living God. It is to understand God in an intimate way, with a firm conviction of who He is and what He's done. It's a knowledge we only come to possess by being with Him, letting Him shape our hearts as we learn from Him. Oh, what a comfort! Because I spent time with Him, I could KNOW who God was, even in the midst of heartache.

Through that experience, I learned two important lessons:

Growth in the past enables us to face hardship in the future.

Hard things in our lives have a way of calling into question what we know to be true. And sometimes this even includes what we know to be true about God. Knowing God sustains us when we don't know or understand everything else going on around us. This illuminates our need to cultivate our relationship with God, setting aside time to be with Him in prayer, listening to His voice and learning who He is through His Word.

Making time with God a priority now prepares us for what's ahead.

Furthermore, the psalmist tells us in Psalm 9:10 that knowing God's name leads to trusting Him. What does it mean to know God's name? It means we know who He is - His unchanging character. The Bible explains He is trustworthy, omnipotent (all powerful), faithful and sovereign. We all need this knowledge of who God is, no matter what we're going through.

God invites us to come to Him. Know His name. And trust Him. You see, it's easy to follow God in the good times, but when the hard times come, will we know Him enough to trust Him?

The months have passed, treatments have gone well, and my husband is headed toward complete remission. Praise God! Last year at this time, I had no idea the hard things we would face, with my husband's diagnosis lurking right around the corner. But thankfully I already knew His name. Who God is, and who He will always be. He is merciful, sovereign, trustworthy and good. He is my loving Father who will take care of me.

Heavenly Father, as I face the unexpected trials of life, I want to know Your name. Draw close to me as I draw close to You. Shape my heart and guide me in Your truth. Strengthen me with Your promises. My life is in Your hands. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Proverbs 28:26, "Those who trust in themselves are fools, but those who walk in wisdom are kept safe." (NIV)

The Better Mom Devotional: Shaping Our Hearts as We Shape Our Homes by Ruth Schwenk will help you make time with God a priority today, strengthening your heart for whatever comes tomorrow. These 100 devotions will encourage and inspire with Scripture, reflection questions, and journaling space to jot down thoughts and prayers. Each devotion, filled with Bible teaching, personal stories and application, will help open your heart to experience more of God's love, truth and grace.

Download a free sample of The Better Mom Devotional by Ruth Schwenk HERE. For daily encouragement in life and motherhood, connect with Ruth Schwenk on Instagram HERE.

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What's one way you can grow in your knowledge of God today?

Where is God asking you to trust Him, and why?

© 2018 by Ruth Schwenk. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Zondervan, a division of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, for their sponsorship of today's devotion.

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