The world has gotten through what will likely go down in history as one of the most challenging years of all time. It has been hard on so many levels. But for every person who is reading these words today, the only way to get to this day, was to go through last year. How you got through 2020 can look very different from how someone else might have.

Our circumstances and life experiences can be very different; however, at one time or another, we have all gone through something. Life can be challenging. I believe that generally speaking, no one  likes going through trials, but they happen to everyone.                                                                   

Second Corinthians 4:7-18 offers encouragement for those difficult times that can seem to come all too often.                                                                                                              

But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.  We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair;  persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So, death is at work in us, but life in you.

Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.

So, we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.  For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

Reflect on these verses when you find yourself in the middle of a situation that pushes you to your limit. Knowing that Paul was able to endure the difficult circumstances he faced can give you hope that Jesus will help you get through yours.                                                                                                   

So, when you find yourself going through a difficult time, do not give in to despair. Instead: 

Pray through it.

One of the tricks of the enemy is to take away your hope. He wants you to believe that your problems are bigger than God. He wants you to think that you can expect nothing but defeat. The devil is a liar! Pray your way out of defeat. God wants you to live a victorious life. You can have victory over the enemy and your circumstances. First Corinthians 15:57 says, “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Stand on God’s word in prayer and believe that nothing is too hard for Him. Pray without ceasing and watch God work.                                                                                                                                                   

Talk through it.      

Change what you are saying, how you are saying it and when you are saying it. You know those things you are praying for and dreaming about? Speak those things as if they already are. Believe that what you are saying will come to pass. And sometimes, you need to keep those things just between you and God. (See 2 Kings 4:1-7) Never forget that life and death are in the power of the tongue. 

Get through it.

When you complain, you are speaking defeat. When you go through the fire, God says that you will not be burned or even scorched. (Isaiah 43:1:2) Just like fire refines gold, our Heavenly Father, uses it to refine our lives. When you trust in Him, He will get you through anything. The difficult circumstances of your life are never wasted on God. He uses them to bring you forth like pure gold. Romans 8:28 says, that all things work together for your good when you love God and have been called according to His purpose.                                             

You may not be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but you can be assured that you are not alone as you search for it. Jesus will never leave you or forsake you and if necessary, He will carry you through anything that you have to face.