Then, here comes 2020 and things started to pile up. With his health issues my friend must be extremely careful in venturing out because of COVID-19. His oldest daughter was to be married this spring and in anticipation my friend paid a deposit of thousands of dollars for a venue then , because of the shut-down the ceremony was canceled and the venue refuses to return any of the deposit. His youngest daughter completed college with a 4.0 average and she was unable to have a ceremony. He keeps getting calls from members of his former church that need his help. He thought that he had a legally sound lease in the house where he has lived for over 30 years that would allow him to purchase the home under favorable terms, and with interest rates at record lows, now was the time. He learned that the owner of the home was not able to execute it for reasons that are too complicated to discuss here. If this isn't enough his wife, of more than 30 years, has been diagnosed with breast cancer. She has had one surgery and must have another where she will have both breasts removed. His mother and father have both died. His brother has his own family with it's own issues. His children, now adults, have their own lives and he feels all alone.
My friend, this mighty man of God said, to me, and to God when we prayed, "I'm scared and I don't think I will survive this".
I really didn't know what to say but I knew that I shouldn't quote scripture and say stuff like "just have faith", or "God won't give you more than you can bear" (that's not in the Bible anyway). That was the time for me just to be there, to listen, and promise to help him bear his burden. There would be another time to talk to him about the God who promised to never leave or forsake him.
That time came today in something that I read from Dr. Charles Stanley for "such a time as this." You may not be where my friend is today and I pray that you never get there, but I've been there and you may be there someday. I want to share this with you and with my friend.
Editor's Note:. The following are excerpts from "God Will See You Through" by Dr. Charles Stanley. To read the original click this link. Some scriptures added by me.
God Will See You Through
The pressure of escalating difficulties can cause you to wonder if you’ll survive the onslaught. When enough comes against you, it’s normal to question whether you’ll be able to endure.
As time has passed, maybe you’ve reached a more profound sense of despair. You’re tired of hearing the bad news and the seemingly unsolvable issues. You wake up praying for a day without conflict, loss, or heartache. You feel confused about how your difficulties haven’t decreased at all, despite all of your prayers and faithful service to Jesus. Instead, they’ve increased … and have hit you right where you hurt.
You’ve heard it said the Lord won’t give you more than you can handle, but you’ve long since reached the point of what you feel you can bear. More has happened than you can possibly sustain. Some days, you don’t even hope for victory over your circumstances—you just pray to make it through them. And the thought that assails you is:
“I fear I am not going to survive this.”
You wonder, Why has this situation only gotten worse instead of better? Why doesn’t God heal me? You cry out to Him, and He comforts you. But the trial doesn’t end, and you can’t understand what God’s doing. So you question, Has the Lord failed me? Is this all He has for me?
Hebrews 12:4-11 NLT No, the Father hasn’t failed you. And the fact that He’s still working on you is evidence that not only does He see your potential, but He also desires to touch the world through you in a special wayAfter all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin. And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children? He said, “My child, don’t make light of the Lord ’s discipline, and don’t give up when he corrects you. For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.” As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all. Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn’t we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever? For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.
Believe it or not, what you’re experiencing isn’t unusual. In fact, it’s a necessary part of liberating and transforming you into His disciple. You see, adversity is not only a bridge to a deeper relationship with God, but it’s also the path to freedom, healing, and maximum usefulness. The Lord uses trials as His precise tool, making meticulous and skillful incisions into your life that are agonizing at times, but are also necessary for you to be free of unseen issues that seek to undermine and destroy you.
Jeremiah 18:3-4 NLT So I did as he told me and found the potter working at his wheel. But the jar he was making did not turn out as he had hoped, so he crushed it into a lump of clay again and started over.
Paul expressed this truth in 2 Corinthians 1:8-9 when he wrote, “We do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life; indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead.” Even the apostle Paul faced terrible trials that were beyond his power to endure. Yet he saw the value in the trial, saying it had occurred “that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead” (v. 9).
Is there no easier way? You may wonder. Why does so much have to go wrong? He’s God. Why does He allow it to be so painful? The simple truth is that we learn more in the difficulties of life than in the blessings. Through our hardships, He removes the thought patterns, habits, attitudes, behaviors, and even the relationships that allow us to depend on anything other than Him. Trials drive us to our knees in prayer, stop us from relying on ourselves, and teach us His complete sufficiency.
Why? Because it’s when you’re flat on your back with no other options that your only choice is to look up.
Yet it’s in looking to Jesus that you can ultimately have the greatest hope, joy, peace, and freedom. The prophet Isaiah testifies, “Although the Lord has given you bread of privation and water of oppression, He, your Teacher will no longer hide Himself, but your eyes will behold your Teacher. Your ears will hear a word behind you, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ whenever you turn to the right or to the left” (Isa. 30:20-21).
When you’re able to rely on God fully, you recognize that regardless of what circumstances you face, your Teacher—your omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, and unconditionally loving God—is there to guide you, protect you, and provide for you perfectly. And not only are you going to make it through, but you will “overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved” you
Romans 8:35-37 NLT Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.” ) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
So don’t entertain the devastating idea, “I fear I am not going to survive this.”
Fight that thought with the truth:
O Lord my God, I cried to You for help, and You healed me. —Psalm 30:2
My soul, wait in silence for God only, for my hope is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I shall not be shaken. On God my salvation and my glory rest; the rock of my strength, my refuge is in God. Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. —Psalm 62:5-8
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits; who pardons all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases; who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion. —Psalm 103:2-4
He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions. —Psalm 107:20
“In repentance and rest you will be saved, in quietness and trust is your strength.” —Isaiah 30:15
“No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; and every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their vindication is from Me,” declares the Lord. —Isaiah 54:17
Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for You are my praise. —Jeremiah 17:14
Behold, I will bring to it health and healing, and I will heal them; and I will reveal to them an abundance of peace and truth. —Jeremiah 33:6
We do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life; indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead; who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us, He on whom we have set our hope. And He will yet deliver us. —2 Corinthians 1:8-11