Bill’s Book Chapter 6 – Faith During Hard Times
I wrote this book below to have it published but decided to put it on my website instead to share it with anyone interested. May it be a blessing to you as you read it. ~ Bill Greguska
Chapter 1 – My Letter To The Lord
Chapter 2 – It Starts With Me
Chapter 3 – God’s Plan
Chapter 4 – God’s Way
Chapter 5 – God Answers Prayers
Chapter 6 – Faith During Hard Times
Chapter 7 – Relationship With Others
Chapter 8 – Love Is The Answer
Chapter 9 – Victory Over Evil
Chapter 10 – Heaven Is Our Home
Chapter 11 – Emotions Are Interesting
Chapter 12 – Recovery
FAITH DURING HARD TIMES
Anxiety Makes Matters Worse
Be More Cheerful
Confident About My Faith
Develop A Forgiving Spirit
Keep My Eyes on Jesus
Make a Disciple
Memories Can Be Painful
Share Our Faith With Others
1. Finding Peace
Lord, I have found that when I keep my focus on you, Lord, and your promises, even through difficult times still do happen, I can still remain at peace. I have also found that when my exceptions of others and things increase, the level of peace in my heart goes down dramatically. When I pray and read your Word, I find a special peace that is hard to explain or find or can not be found anywhere else. I also l need to remember that your word will help keep me from sin, or sin will keep me from your Word.
Lord, I know that I have been created sinful at birth because of Adam and Eve…
Yet you offer me peace through you and your Holy Spirit. Thank you for that peace, and please help us to share it freely with others. There are many practical things I can say or do to promote peace in my life and the lives of others. Thank you for the peace that you had made available to me when I accepted you as my Lord and Savior.
Isaiah 26:3 You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast because he trusts in you.
Balance, peace, and joy are the fruit of a successful life. It starts with recognizing your talents and finding ways to serve others by using them. ~ Thomas Kinkade was an American painter of popular realistic, pastoral, and idyllic subjects.
2. Confident About My Faith
Lord, right now, I feel it is essential to evaluate whether or not that I have accepted you into my life, or if it was just an emotional response to a situation I was in. Once I am confident without any doubt, then I can be ready to share my faith with others, as others have done with me. I am reminded that we ought not to allow Satan to steal the good seeds that have been planted in my heart.
Lord, help me to rebuke the lies of Satan and cling on to you with all my heart. Faith is not deigning circumstances in our life, and it just refuses to be controlled by those circumstances. When I have asked myself these three questions, it helped me to understand my faith relationship with you Lord better: Do I find myself thinking about you, Lord, during the day? Do I enjoy praying? Does my sin bother me?
Lord, only you know my heart without any doubt, we can not fool you in any way…
Keep in mind that the devil knows about who you are Lord, but that is not the same as being a follower of you, Lord. If there is any reason that we have not accepted you as our Lord and Savior, please speak in the hearts of those who have not taken care of this business once and for all, this is too important to take lightly. Lord, please convict their hearts and then let us be a light to others. Lord, I ask myself an important question, “If I were accused in court for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to find me guilty?” 1
Peter 3:15 But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.
Being outspoken about my faith isn’t just something that I do; it’s who I am because my faith isn’t just a little piece of my life. It is my life. It’s not a question of whether I’m outspoken about it or not. I’m definitely not ashamed of it. ~ Tim Tebow outspoken Christian athlete who played both professional football and baseball.
3. Keep My Eyes on Jesus
Lord, without a doubt, I need to keep my eyes focused on you and you alone, Lord, not on my problems or fears. Because our problems can be solved when we take them to you in prayer. I find that I need to calm myself down enough to pray and seek wisdom from you. I try not to react to situations with emotional knee jerk types of reaction, but instead, I try to use knowledge as the train engine and allow my emotions to follow like a caboose.
Lord, there are so many things that can distract me from you…
Show me that your love for me is so much greater than items such as the Internet, cell phones, cars, money, homes, and people. Please help us to keep my life free from sin and confusion. Please help me to find all my answers from your word. I need to remind myself that letting go is so very different than giving up because when I have my eyes on you, Lord, it makes it hard to fall off into the pit.
Hebrews 12:2: Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author, and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Make sure of your commitment to Jesus Christ, and seek to follow Him every day. Don’t be swayed by the false values and goals of this world, but put Christ and His will first in everything you do. ~ Billy Graham extremely popular Christian preacher who made a significant impact in the evangelical church.
Lord, as we try to always keep our focus on you because this will help prevent double vision, which leads to double-mindedness, which leads to confusion and kayos. Double mindedness is having two opposing thoughts at the same time. When we know what we value, it makes it so much easier to decide on things. Yes, there are times when my decision can go either way, Lord, but always remind me to take everything to you.
Lord, you will show me the way I am so confident in this. I have been double-minded in my life, and I know it is not a good thing often because, in those situations, I was trying to please man or myself, rather than pleasing God.
Lord, help me to put on your spiritual lenses…
So I can realize that your ways are higher than our ways and that we need to trust you for direction and wisdom. Life’s most important and significant decision is whether we follow you, Lord, as our Lord and Savior. Please teach me to run to you before trying to tackle any situation that comes my way. It will save us so much time and energy. Please speak to our heart through your word and pray, and then if necessary, point the right person or people to help direct us to do your will.
Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them. ~ Maya Angelou was an American poet, singer, and civil rights activist.
5. Memories Can Be Painful
Lord, help me to keep in mind that I can not change the past, but you Lord can and will when I allowed you to come into my life. My brother Tom told me while I was going through my divorce, “If you have done all you can do, then just turn the page.” I try to make good memories each day, and I make sure that I learn from the bad ones. I try to pay no attention to negative remarks about me unless they are true, then I ask you, Lord, for forgiveness, then repent of my sin, and I just live my life so that nobody would have reason to believe anything wrong about me.
Lord, I have learned recently that I made the name up called “The Pit Bull Syndrome”…
This means to me that I can get a negative thought or emotion stuck in my mind or heart that I can not release. As a result, it goes over and over and over in my mind. It is kind of like how a pit bull dog locks their jaws on to something and will not let go.
Lord, thank you for this insight so that when I feel myself heading in that direction, I can remind myself that this is not something that you want me to do. It is incredible how our minds can be so very powerful for either good memories or bad memories, and we have the power to choose. Lord, please help me to filter all of my thoughts and memories through you, especially to filter those that are potentially harmful to me.
Romans 12:15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.
Anything that triggers good memories can’t be all bad. ~ Adam West was known primarily for his role as Batman in the 1960s ABC series of the same name.
6. Be More Cheerful
Lord, I encourage all of us to seek to find peace and joy no matter what your circumstances are. Knowing I am doing your will, Lord, by loving you and your people is what is the foundation of what makes me happy. I have learned that I am most cheerful and delighted when my conscience is clear, and I am at peace with you, Lord, and others. I try to look at things in a positive light instead of letting Satan blind me with his tactics to steal, kill, and trying to destroy me. My joy and cheerfulness come from you, Lord, not from money or things because happiness is in our hearts, not in our circumstances.
Lord, you know that I try to see the glass half full rather than half empty…
because that will influence how much cheerfulness most likely will be in me. Please help to teach me to number our days and make the best of every situation that comes along. Please help us to find the good in all things and people today and every day, and please help us to keep our eyes focused on you instead of this world full of sin, and continue to teach me to laugh in the face of the evil one and rebuke him when he tries to discourage me. The question I need to consider is how I can stay cheerful and encourage others also to be cheerful?
Proverbs 15:13 A happy heart makes the face pleasant, but heartache crushes the spirit.
I think that is a better thing than thanksgiving: thanks-living. How is this to be done? By a general cheerfulness of manner, by obedience to the command of Him by whose mercy we live, by a perpetual, constant delighting of ourselves in the Lord, and by a submission of our desires to His will. ~ Charles Spurgeon was an English Particular Baptist preacher
7. Anxiety Make Matters Worse
Lord, I need to continue to keep putting my trust in you and stop being anxious over so many little petty things. Help me to build my confidence, knowing that with your help, I can do all the things that I need to do in my life. When I let our emotions get in front of God’s perfect wisdom, that is, I believe when I experience anxiety the most. We need to be confident and comfortable in our relationship with you, Lord, because when we are, our lives are so much more manageable and peaceful.
Lord, when we are anxious…
It shows us that we are not trusting you fully and that we need to trust you more. Please help to nudge us to come to you in prayers. Lord, help those who are habitually anxious to find relief and let them find that relief that they need in you. Lord,
I know that you promise a safe landing, yet you do not always promise problem-free travel. Do I also need to ask myself if I am getting enough exercise? Am I getting enough sleep at night? Am I eating a healthy diet? When I ask myself these questions, it helps to be my life back on track.
Psalm 139:23 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Become a worry-slapper. Treat frets like mosquitoes. Do you procrastinate when a bloodsucking bug lights on your skin? ‘I’ll take care of it in a moment.’ Of course, you don’t! You give the critter the slap it deserves. Be equally decisive with anxiety. ~ Max Lucado is a best-selling Christian author and pastor at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas
8. Share Your Faith With Others
Lord, I know there will come the point in time when I have shared my faith with others I have come in contact with. There is not a limitation of when we can share, just as long as the Holy Spirit is leading us to do so, and we use common sense. I try to make sure that when I share my faith, I do so in a way that I am not talking to the other person as though I have all the answers and they are lost. Instead, I humbly let them know that I am a sinner just like they are, although I have been saved from our sins by my faith in you, Lord. I try to let them know that they, too, can be saved by your grace. Hopefully, I will be a link in their faith chain that will bring them to you, Lord. Remember that people can argue about God, Jesus, and the Bible, but they can not debate about your testimony, because it is how God has worked in my life.
Lord, help us to share our faith with others…
the way we would want them to share it with us before we came to believe. The good news of Jesus Christ is way too good to keep to myself. Do I have to ask myself if I have shared my belief in God with anyone lately? I pray that when I use the Bible and my testimony with confidence and grace, but never use the Bible as a hammer. (to hit others over the head with to point out bad they are) Your word Lord is like a double-edged sword and when properly administered. Lord, please give us the words we need to share, and the love in our hearts for others while doing so.
Luke 15:10 Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.
When we use old confessions and catechisms, we help teach our people that their faith is an old faith, shared by millions over many centuries. We also help them realize that other Christians have asked the same questions. ~ Kevin DeYoung is an American Reformed Evangelical theologian and author.
9. Develop a Forgiving Spirit
Lord, I believe that having a forgiving spirit is so very important, yet it is not talked about enough. A forgiving spirit is not only good for others but is good for ourselves. Many years ago, I had a problem forgiving a few people when they have been insulting, rude, mean or angry towards me, but when I realized that God would not forgive me unless I forgive them, Matthew 6:15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. That fact made the practice of forgiveness so much easier to do when I understood that way. Forgiveness is beautiful, but I also need to remember to guard my heart against those who may wish to inflict pain on to me or those I love.
Lord, help us to have the heart to please you, which a part of that is to forgive others…
There are always times when people offend us, yet your word Lord teaches us to forgive one another. Help us have a forgiving spirit. I figure that I want to be forgiven when I do wrong, so then I need to forgive others the same way. When I practice having an open palm (not holding tightly with a closed fist) towards people and things, that will help to bring us peace to our soul and help make having a forgiving spirit a reality.
Matthew 6:14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
I believe that children are, by nature, very forgiving. I don’t think children expect their parents to be perfect, I think they demand that their parents be real. ~ Beth Moore is an American evangelist, author, and Bible teacher. She is the founder of Living Proof Ministries.
10. Make a Disciple
Lord, we all want to make a difference in other people’s lives, and also our own lives. The best ways to change the world would be to change what we need to change about ourselves first, then share the love of God with others, forgive, and pray for others more. I will never be perfect this side of heaven, but if I can point others to the one who is perfect, who is you, Lord, I have done your will. Make yourself somewhat transparent, and share what God has done for you and try to help teach others what they need to know about our Lord and Savior. Then make sure that we ask ourselves, “What is my plan to influence others and help them become disciples?”
Lord, we pray that I can help spread your good news gospel to anyone who would be interested in knowing the truth…
I pray that those listen to me, have ears to hear, and hearts open to you, Lord. Please help us to speak your truth to others, and not confuse them with our opinions.
Matthew 28:18-19 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Christians are nonviolent not, therefore, because we believe that nonviolence is a strategy to rid the world of war, but because nonviolence is constitutive of what it means to be a disciple to Jesus. ~ Stanley Hauerwas