When Life Is Hard – Part One

by Lee Buford on March 17, 2010

What should you do when life is hard? What do most of us actually do when life is hard?

These are two important questions that have consumed a great deal of my spiritual thought over the past few months. Unfortunately I have seen firsthand the struggles of family members and friends who have faced difficult and trying seasons in their lives of late. And quite honestly I wish I could’ve been a better source of help, wisdom, and strength for them in several of these cases.

I’ve watched folks run from sin, run from issues, run from people, run from hurt, and run from God. They are all seeking something, and they are running for it with all their might. The problem is they don’t know what they’re running toward. And when they’re running that fast in the direction of further hurt and destruction they are getting there twice as fast. In most cases, all they want is peace, freedom from the pain, and an existence where they don’t have to hurt anymore.

As a result, my heart has been deeply burdened for my brothers and sisters in such circumstances.

I was reading an excellent post from Mark Clement titled, Fathers Be Good to Your Daughters,” and was, once again, moved to the point of action…to the point of writing, sharing, and pleading with you to take notice of the people around you and invest in the broken lives of those who are crying out for help. In his post Mark recounts the sobering scene he encountered when visiting a club for some innocent fun while celebrating a birthday with family and friends. The following is part of what he observed…what moved him to the point of action:

The crowd was mostly 20 somethings, young professionals and those trying to be. Lots of young ladies throwing themselves at anyone who would pay them attention, longing to be loved, touched, noticed… A great opportunity for a young, thoughtless, careless man to exploit. Many sitcoms have even started to throw around the phrase ‘daddy issues’ making light of it all. But to me, a guy old enough to be many of these girls father, it hurt my heart. I thought of my girls, and prayed I would be the kind of father that can show them the love they need to know that me and their heavenly Father value them greatly, that they matter, that they are valuable and lovely and important…and that they deserve the best.

For those of us with daughters this is an especially frightning scenario. But on a kingdom scale, we must begin to see every girl/woman as someone’s daughter, as every boy/man is someone’s son. People of all nationalities, genders, and economic backgrounds are hurting and, as Christians, such pain and suffering SHOULD provoke us to intercede in any way possible.

But what do we do in these situations? What do we do when we are faced with broken-spirited people who are desperate for help?

First and foremost, we should PRAY! We can never underestimate the power of prayer in reaching people at their point of need. Our great God is always sufficient and, in most cases, He is the ONLY answer or solution. We should also come alongside that person with love and compassion, with an undying desire to show them the love of Christ by shining His light into their darkness. There also numerous electronic and print resources at our disposal which can be leveraged for great insight and direction…most importantly the Bible itself.

I would like to suggest a couple additional resources that I believe you will find helpful.

God has graciously used Pastor James MacDonald and his Walk In The Word ministry in my life and spiritual growth over the past two years. Pastor James released a new book and website recently, both appropriately titled, “When Life Is Hard.”

The website is a tremendous resource for those of you in need right now, as well as for those of you who are trying to help, love, and support someone in need. The site contains excellent resources, stories that have been shared by others, MP3s and links to additional audio and video resources. I strongly encourage you to drop by and check out the site.

www.whenlifeishard.com

In Part Two of this post I will review the book itself, sharing some of the key points and scriptures MacDonald uses to show us how to appropriately identify, confront, and deal with hard times, in a biblical and God-honoring way.

It is my prayer that these posts will encourage and inspire you to take action, to immediately reach out in love and prayer for those around you who are in the midst of such trials. We all know someone who needs help right now!

I urge you…take action now! You may be just the one God has placed in their life to deliver the news of hope they are so desperately seeking.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Lee Buford March 17, 2010 at 1:33 pm

Thank you for posting this. It is so powerful and so true. Running TOWARD God is so much more rewarding than running FROM Him!

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Kristi Martin March 17, 2010 at 1:38 pm

Thank you for sharing this. It is so powerful and so true! Running TOWARD God is so much more rewarding than running FROM Him!

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