10 God-Given Strategies for Difficult Times
Robert J. Morgan
Robert Morgan produces a powerful book that helps people navigate the difficult times of their life. Whether it’s the loss of a loved one, struggles of daily life, or the suffering and pain of disabilities and afflictions, this book cuts to the heart and gives encouragement to such trials.
The author bases these ten rules for coping with trials in Exodus 14 when the Israelites crossed the Red Sea with Pharaoh and his army hot on their trail. The first rule is that God has you right where he wants you. If you are going through a trial, it is either by God’s design, or he has allowed it to happen. When you realize God’s sovereignty in the process, it’s at least a bit easier to go through these experiences, because the Lord sees what will happen before it happens. Nothing surprises Him, and there’s nothing He can’t handle.
The second rule is to be more concerned for God’s glory in your trials than your relief. No one likes to go through trials and suffering. But, while you go through it, ask yourself, “How can I find God through this experience?” We all have trials and suffering to go through. But as we go through it, there’s always a way to glorify God instead of running away from it.
The third rule is to acknowledge your enemy, but keep your eyes on the Lord. When the Israelites were between the Red Sea and Pharaoh’s armies, they were fearful of what was going to happen. But God had a greater plan for that moment. The enemy is real, and we cannot ignore our circumstances. But at same time, when we keep our eyes on the Lord, we will see His plan and what He will do in our situation. We must look faithfully at the Lord instead of allowing our fear of the enemy to overtake us.
The fourth rule when facing your trial is to pray. The author isn’t talking about regular prayer, but prayers we pray in emergencies. He describes the prayer of faith and how it works. In moments of emergency or extreme danger, we offer small prayers up to God. There’s nothing wrong with this.
The fifth rule is to keep calm and confident, leaving God time to work. Many times we pray and expect God to do something immediately. If He doesn’t do it in the time we think it should be done, we panic. God works things out in His timing, the best timing. Because we are caught up in our suffering and trial, we don’t realize what God can do. God can move quickly, or He can take more time than we expect. We need to be patient and wait on Him.
Rule #6 is that when we are unsure, we can take the next logical step by faith. Just because we don’t know how God will answer our prayer doesn’t mean we must stand paralyzed by the trial. We can take logical steps, but steps that makes sense. God does not give us the whole plan. He only tells us to take the next step. Only after we take that step will the next step be eliminated to us. We want the whole thing before we start. But we must learn that walking by faith is taking the next step God provides and trusting Him for the rest as we go.
The seventh rule is to envision God’s presence around us. All too often we buy into the lives of the enemy that no one else has ever walked this path before. We picture ourselves alone, trying to figure out things by ourselves. But that’s not the case. God’s presence is always with us. God is with us every step of the way. We need not think we are alone.
The eighth rule is to trust God to deliver in His own unique way. We often want God to deliver us and and a trial in the way we expect or want. But that’s not how it works. God has His own way of delivering the answer. He is the Lord of the universe, are sovereign King. We do not dictate to Him what and how He brings the answer. We must trust God to deliver the answer how He wishes.
Red Sea Rule nine is to view your current crisis as a faith builder for the future. God uses our trials to build our faith and character. We need to realize that while it is a crisis to us, it is adversity God uses to strengthen our faith muscles. When I look back on former trials, I can see how God had His hand in them. But when you are in a current trial, you cannot see how God will move and finish your trial.
The final rule when you are dealing with trials is to not forget to praise God. When God has answered our prayers and brought us out of a trial, we may forget to praise Him. Perhaps we think we have gotten out of it ourselves. Whatever the case, we tend to forget to praise God. But, why wait until the trial is over? Praise God for His presence with you, grace, and power to handle the trial. And when He answers your prayer and brings your trial to a close, praise Him all the more!
I’m not doing justice to each of the chapters. Morgan masterfully leaves personal stories along with illustrations throughout the book. It was worth reading just for that. As a preacher, I can appreciate his skillful storytelling and illustration picking. I found it easy to read and a joy because of his construction of the book. I got so much out of this book. It ministered to me, the illustrations and stories, the application and message Morgan brought. As I am dealing with a long-term paralysis and quadriplegic, Morgan touched my heart and reminded me of how to walk through this trial and suffering. I know you will get a lot of ministry and encouragement out of this book. If you do not feel you could use it, surely you have a family member or friend going through something this book should encourage them to face God’s way. I highly recommend you grab this book!