Sage advice for today’s tough times
- Written by Nancy Williams, LPC
“Never give in – never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” Those challenging words were spoken by Winston Churchill as Adolph Hitler threatened to overrun England and Western Europe. This short, powerful speech was intended to fuel determination into the hearts and minds of a nation that looked to him for direction. Churchill knew the importance of facing adversity head on, refusing to give up or give in unless there was good reason. There’s another passage of encouragement, spoken by a man who knew much about pressing on through adversity – the Apostle Paul. Shipwrecked. Often challenged. Beaten. Imprisoned. When you read Paul’s writings in the Bible’s New Testament, you see that he didn’t minimize his struggles, but he didn’t wallow in the suffering or give in to fear. He didn’t give up. In a letter he wrote to a church in Corinth (2 Corinthians 4:8-9) he described the resiliency God had given him. “We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed and broken. We are perplexed, but we don’t give up and quit. We are hunted down, but God never abandons us. We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going.” He goes on in verse 16 to say, “we do not lose heart.” When I read Paul’s writings, I see a man who knew his weaknesses and clearly acknowledged it was God’s strength that carried him through tough times. Paul was writing to people who were facing their own challenges; so he drew words of encouragement from his struggles to fuel a spirit of determination and strengthen their trust in God’s guidance and provision through life’s difficulties. Now, here we are today – facing uncertainties, challenges, trials and disappointments. Wondering what the future will hold for our nation, our community, our businesses, our families and ourselves. We’re blessed in so many ways, yet our conversations and thoughts seem to frequently center around our struggles. No wonder we’re experiencing anxiety, fear, depression, even for some, a sense of hopelessness. It concerns me that people around us are feeling so overwhelmed and want to give up. We may need to make adjustments but we can’t completely give up on life. We just can’t. We have to look deep within for the determination to get through tough times; and we have to reach out to help those who are struggling to find that strength to press on. How grateful I am that we don’t have to give up or give in because God offers us four powerful tools to see us through life’s challenges: His strength, His guidance, His provision, and His promise to walk with us. We may feel knocked down but we’re not knocked out. God can provide the resiliency to help us bounce back. We may feel lost but He knows just where we are and will guide our steps. We may feel all alone, yet He’s beside us at every turn. We may feel too weak to take another step, but He’s right there to carry us. We may not be able to see what lies ahead but He knows and has a plan to see us through. As I write these words, I realize you’ve probably heard it preached in church many times, or you’ve read God’s word and know His promises. You may have experienced His provision through other struggles or watched as friends or family members faced tough times. I have as well. Yet, it seems like when we hit life’s challenges, we need to be reminded that no matter how difficult the adversity is, God was, is, and will be faithful to get us through. Always. No matter what. So, this is a time of challenge, and a time to watch God at work. To draw close to Him and experience His presence in a fresh new way. A time to hold His hand and then extend the other hand to help those around us who may be stumbling along the way. Hold on, my friends, hold on. Nancy Williams, LPC, is a licensed professional counselor with a counseling, coaching and consulting practice in Kingwood. Send questions or comments to her at www.nancywilliams.net. This article is not to be taken as professional counseling or advice.