Heart Keepers Ministries


by Debbie on November 26, 2017

I woke up this morning thinking of hardships in my life for some reason. I began to look back on my life and all I reflected on was how hard my life seemed to be.

Growing up poor, with parents much older than my friends was a challenge.

Living in areas that most saw as the poor side of town was hard as well.

Getting pity from teachers and preachers who often said I was “smart and beautiful”but more often than not felt sorry for me because of the very dysfunctional family I came from.

Teens years brought teen tears!

Driving a beat up rust bucket kind of car when others were sporting a new ride given to them by their parents was hard on my pride.

Dating the other side of the track guys was a joy to my heart but brought much pain. Rejection came early in my life.

Leaving home earlier than most my age brought hardships as well. Financially for sure!

I found my career in banking and success was a given because remember, I was labeled, “smart and beautiful”.

It is true brains and beauty can take you places. Sometimes for the good but also they might take you places you never thought you’d go.

Yes I did things and went places I certainly regret. That happens to all of us the “rich and the poor”.

The truth is hardships are not just for the poor. They are a part of everyone’s life. Money and riches can’t shelter us from hardships.

I know that because hard work paid off in my life. Perhaps being “smart and beautiful” also helped along the way.

Even when the “poor life” seemed to disappear and “the more abundant life” seemed to prevail, the hardships didn’t disappear.

Even when I became “poor in spirit” and turned my life over to Christ the hardships didn’t leave.

I have faced much hardship and pain in my life, as I am sure others have as well.

The truth is no matter our financial status, our IQ, or our physical stature/looks...we will all have trouble in this world.

The disciples had their hardship stories too. Let’s look at a couple here:

Matthew 14:22-33

Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

“Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “ You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshipped him, saying, “ Truly you are the Son of God.”

Luke 8:22-25

One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and set out. As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so the the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger.

The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!”

He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. “Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples.

In fear and amazement they asked one another, “Who is this?” He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.

I didn’t bring up my hardships for your pity today. I brought them up only to say that no matter where we came from or where we are now, or where we are headed, what really matters is:

Where is your faith?

Jesus doesn’t focus on the storms/hardships in our lives and neither should we.

When I woke up this morning my focus should not have been on my hardships.

When Jesus woke up his focus was on the disciples hardships. He took care of what they were facing. He spoke and calmed the storm in one instance and in the other he got in the boat with them and the storm died down.

We don’t have to focus on our hardships when Jesus is focused on them for us. He will come through for us just as he did for his disciples.

But in both instances he was most focused on their faith. In one hardship story he said they had little faith and the other hardship story he asked where their faith was.

So the moral of the story is:

No matter the hardships we face our focus should be on our faith.

Is our faith little or has our faith disappeared?

You are the the Master of the storms in our lives. We cry out to you today to help our faith to be bigger than our fear in times of hardship. We ask you to help us read your word so that our faith will increase and we ask you to pray for us as you did for Peter, when he was sifted by Satan with your permission, that our faith would not fail. Lord heal our hearts from the scars of past hardships and strengthen our hearts with faith to face the hardships we are in or that will come in the future. Thank you that when storms/ hardships arise you are not far off. We ask you to come to us and immediately rescue us as you did the disciples and we ask that you get in the boat (hardship) with us. Remind us to focus on our faith in you and not on our hardships/storms.
In your name we pray for grace and mercy in our time of hardship. Amen

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