Archive - Tough Times RSS Feed

Job, the Fairy Tale–Job 42:12

Today’s Scripture Reading: Job 40:6-42:17

Then they lived happily ever after!  Now that’s my kind of story line!  I don’t think we’ll ever find the book of Job in the fairy tale section of the bookstore, but if you really stop and think about it, the book of Job has a fairy tale ending:

…the Lord restored his (Job’s) fortunes. In fact, the Lord gave him twice as much as before! Then all his brothers, sisters, and former friends came and feasted with him in his home. And they consoled him and comforted him because of all the trials the Lord had brought against him. And each of them brought him a gift of money and a gold ring.

So the Lord blessed Job in the second half of his life even more than in the beginning. For now he had 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 teams of oxen, and 1,000 female donkeys. He also gave Job seven more sons and three more daughters. He named his first daughter Jemimah, the second Keziah, and the third Keren-happuch. In all the land no women were as lovely as the daughters of Job. And their father put them into his will along with their brothers.

Job lived 140 years after that, living to see four generations of his children and grandchildren.  Then he died, an old man who had lived a long, full life. Job 42:10-17

Job’s life sure doesn’t read like a fairy tale.  Forty-one chapters of disaster, despair, and disillusionment and one chapter of repentance, restoration, and rejoicing.  Shouldn’t that be just the opposite?  Lots of rejoicing and just a little disaster…

Like today’s photo says, “Can’t we just have the ‘Once upon a time’ and then go straight to the happily ever-after ending?  Can’t we skip the hard stuff?  Can’t we just live in the land of rejoicing?

I did a word search on the word rejoicing and was surprised to find that most of the time when the Lord talked about rejoicing, He was commanding us to rejoice; it wasn’t an option.  My favorite one is in Paul’s writings.   By the way, he was writing from prison.

Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Philippians 4:4

Paul wasn’t rejoicing in his conditions, which I’m sure were terrible.  He was rejoicing in knowing and being comforted by the God of the Universe.

In my “Job” times I have felt as if God had forgotten about me, only to realize when the trial was over that God was closer than He had ever been before and I knew more about Him than ever before…now that’s something to rejoice about and that’s a real fairy tale ending!

What are you facing today?  Rejoice!  You are not alone!  God is with You and He will never leave you or fail you (Hebrews 13:5).

Heavenly Father, thank You for including Job’s story in Your Word.  Thank You for the assurance that You are with us.  Help us to really believe that in our darkest hours You are carrying us!  Jesus, help us to realize the ultimate fairy tale ending won’t happen until we meet you face-to-face!  We rejoice that our names are written in Your book of heaven (Luke 10:20).

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!


**Our prayers become more powerful when we come together! I would love it if you would post a comment and share your prayer for the day.

Click here to visit blog

©2011, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Exodus 1:1-2:25; 1 Chronicles 6:1-3a; Exodus 3:1-4:17

Lord, Why Aren’t You Answering Me? Job 30:20


Today’s Scripture Reading: Job 30:1-31:40

Today’s Devotion:  He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not

Heavenly Father, I felt so sorry for Job as I read today’s passage. As I put myself in His place, it is unimaginable for me to survive that much loss, but the losses that had him in the depths of despair today seemed to be pushing him over the edge:

  • The “seemingly” loss of communication with his God
  • The feeling of failing to please his God

I cry to you, O God, but you don’t answer. I stand before you,

but you don’t even look. Job 30:20

Father, just like Job when we’re going through the greatest trials of our lives we sometimes feel like You’ve abandoned us; how could You be watching and allowing this to happen?  And right behind that question is what did I do or what didn’t I do?   We start going through a checklist of good behaviors, “Haven’t I been faithful in ________?

Jesus, sometimes our life just doesn’t make sense.  Yes, most of us know the end of Job’s story and we know why he’s gone through so much, but we don’t know the end our own stories and we sure don’t know the ‘why’s’.

But we have hope that Job didn’t have:

  • We have Your written Word that gives us insight into Your nature
  • Our lives have been redeemed by Jesus Christ
  • We are no longer slaves to the law

Holy Spirit, remind us of the hope we have in You.  Through Your Word remind us of the promises You’e made.  Help us to trust You more.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!


**Our prayers become more powerful when we come together! I would love it if you would post a comment and share your prayer for the day.

Click here to visit blog

©2011, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Job 32:1-34:37

The Fall of the Hurdle-Jumper–Job 17:11


Today’s Scripture Reading: Job 15:1-18:21

My days are over. My hopes have disappeared. My heart’s desires are broken. Job 17:11

I can’t imagine the depth of despair Job felt when he spoke these words.  It’s easy to read Job’s story and move through his losses as if it’s some Hollywood movie.  Friends, this really happened. Put yourself in his shoes.  What would you have done?

What if…

  • All your children were dead
  • All of your servants were dead
  • All of your animals were dead
  • All of your food was gone
  • All of your property was destroyed

Most of my life I naïvely thought seasons of depression, despair, and hopelessness could be avoided by Christian disciplines (prayer, Bible study, worship) and continual attitude adjustments. (Sounds like Job’s friends. Huh?)

Until…

Everything came crashing down.  I call it the fall of the hurdle-jumper. As long is there’s enough space between the hurdles to recover, a hurdle jumper can go long distances, but let someone come and place all the hurdles side by side and even the best hurdle jumper will come crashing down.

In just about every area of my life I experienced a major loss: marriage, home, church, career, car, a great friend, and my Dad–all in a matter of a couple of years.

I said with Job, My days are over. My hopes have disappeared. My heart’s desires are broken. Job 17:11

This strong “hurdle-jumper” came tumbling to the ground and my misconceptions about depression fell as well. I needed a healing of this mental cancer that had zapped the life and joy out of me.  “I” couldn’t fix me.

That was fifteen years ago.  Through the grace of God, His healing power, and a good medical doctor I made it through that dark time. I’m so thankful for the lessons I learned.  I didn’t realize it at the time but at my lowest God was the closest. As I look back I see those as special times.

Today I vividly understand the power that hope plays in our lives. God is the giver of hope and just like Job we can be sitting in a pile of rubble scraping our wounds, thinking hope is gone forever, while our Heavenly Father is continually saying “Don’t loose hope.  Some things just take a little time.  You’ll understand when You see me face to face. For now just keep your hope in Me!”

And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you. Psalm 39:7

Heavenly Father, we need Your hope today.  I pray for my friends who feel the way I did years ago, hopeless and depressed.  Touch them through your supernatural power and send the gift of hope their way.

Jesus, remind us of the needs of the hurting.  Show us who we need to call, write, or visit.  Use us to be delivery agents of hope today.

In Your Name we pray.  Amen and Amen!

**Our prayers become more powerful when we come together! I would love it if you would post a comment and share your prayer for the day.

Click here to visit blog

©2011, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Job 19:1-21:34

Lord, Tell Me What I Have Done Wrong–Job13:23

Today’s Scripture Reading: Job 12:1-14:22

Today’s Devotion: For I Call On God and Expect Him to Answer

Heavenly Father, when I read Job’s words, “Tell me what I have done wrong,” I realize that just like Job that’s the first thing we think when tough times come our way.  Help us to learn from the story of Job.  Thanks to Your Word, we know Job didn’t do anything wrong.  We know You had complete confidence in Job.  Yet, he still had to walk through his trials.

Jesus, thank you for coming, dying and going back to heaven.  Thank you for taking on our sins so that we can be assured of eternal life.  Thank you for forgiveness.

Lord, thank you for the hope we have in You!  Help us to remember we live in a sinful world and because of that there will be hard places, but when trials come, help us to look to You, our rescuer!

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

**Our prayers become more powerful when we come together! I would love it if you would post a comment and share your prayer for the day.

Click here to visit blog

©2011, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Job 15:1-18:21

God, Did You Send Me Here?–Genesis 45:5


Today’s Scripture Reading:  Genesis 42:1-45:15

Today’s Devotion:  I’ll send a new devotion for January 16th later today

But don’t be upset, and don’t be angry with yourselves for selling me to this place. It was God who sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives. Genesis 45:5

Heavenly Father, surely You didn’t send me here?

This can’t be Your best for me.

My current situation just couldn’t be in Your plan for my life.

God, would you really allow this to happen to me?

Father, if we’re honest we all ask these questions from time to time. Jesus, use the story of Joseph to give us hope in our difficult places.  He went through thirteen years of being in a place he would have never chosen to be.  Lord, You orchestrated every detail of those thirteen years so that at the exact time and place You would use Joseph, one person, to save the whole Jewish race.  Help us to see this as more than a Bible story, help us to really believe that You did this for Joseph and You will rescue us as well.

Lord, there are folks reading this prayer who are fighting for their lives.  I know I have friends and family who have children and grandchildren who are chronically ill; waiting for a miracle.  Everywhere we go, people are stressed and overwhelmed.  Some haven’t had a job in months. Many are wondering if You have forgotten them…wondering if You really love them.

Lord, let us latch on to Joseph’s story and realize that if You had a plan for Joseph’s pain, You have a plan for ours as well.  Help us to really believe that You see every tear and understand the depth of our pain.  Let us grasp the fact that You are all-powerful and are a miracle-working God.

Holy Spirit, send supernatural hope to everyone who reads this prayer.  Help them to be refreshed and renewed in their hard place. Fill them with belief and trust in You.

Jesus, squeeze every bit of good You can get out of our hard times. If we have to be in this place, use it for Your Glory, use it to cause others to know You more.

In Jesus’ Name. Amen an Amen!


**Our prayers become more powerful when we come together! I would love it if you would post a comment and share your prayer for the day.

Click here to visit blog

©2011, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Genesis 45:16-47:27

Lord, It’s Beyond My Power to Do This–Genesis 41:16


Today’s Scripture Reading: Genesis 40:1-23; Genesis 35:28-29;                 Genesis 41:1-57

Today’s Devotion:  What a Difference a Day Can Make

Heavenly Father, help us realize there are many things in our life that are beyond our power to control.  But Father, help us to know even more, You are all-powerful and nothing is too difficult for You.

Holy Spirit, help us to see that coming to the end of ourselves is not a bad thing, it’s a great thing.  As we can see from today’s reading Joseph had to get to a point where His only hope was God to be able to be used greatly by God.

Heavenly Father, Your plan + our desperate situation = the makings of a miracle!

Lord, help us to focus on Your power, Your strength, and Your sovereignty!

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!


**Our prayers become more powerful when we come together! I would love it if you would post a comment and share your prayer for the day.

Click here to visit blog

©2011, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  Genesis 42:1-45:15

How Do You Deal With the Prosperity of Others? Genesis 26:14


Today’s Scripture Reading:  Genesis 25:27-28:5

These are tough times.  I spoke with someone today who has been out of work for almost a year.  Several of my friends are battling life threatening health problems and many have family members who are seriously ill.  Too many couples I know are considering divorce.

When you’re going through a hard place, how do you deal with the prosperity of others?

I’m afraid that most of us react the same way the Philistines did when they saw the supernatural prosperity of Isaac.

When Isaac planted his crops that year, he harvested a hundred times more grain than he planted, for the Lord blessed him. He became a very rich man, and his wealth continued to grow. He acquired so many flocks of sheep and goats, herds of cattle, and servants that the Philistines became jealous of him. So the Philistines filled up all of Isaac’s wells with dirt. These were the wells that had been dug by the servants of his father, Abraham. (Genesis 26: 12-15)

Is jealousy the initial reaction of most human beings?

Have you ever asked yourself, a friend, or God…

  • Why do they have it so easy?
  • Why do they have such an easy time getting pregnant and having babies?
  • Why do they have such a nice house?
  • Why do they have such a wonderful marriage?
  • Why do they have such a healthy family?
  • Why do they get all the promotions?
  • Why do they never struggle with their weight?

The Philistines not only asked those questions they took their jealousy to the next level; they decided to destroy Isaac through his most important resource, his water.

I feel pretty confident in saying that none of us have filled our neighbors wells with dirt, but we have done things just as destructive…

  • Torn them down with our words
  • Started rumors and repeated gossip about them
  • Stopped being their friend

Whether we’re throwing dirt in a well or spreading the destructive venom of gossip, God cannot and will not bless that behavior.  The consequences of unbridled jealousy have eternal significance, set a bad example of other Christians (especially our children), and cause non-Christians to be repulsed by our hypocrisy.

What should we do when we feel the fire of jealousy rising up?

  1. Call it what it is: “Lord, I’m jealous.  Forgive me.”
  2. Pray for greater blessings to be given to that person.

Repeat the process as often as necessary.

I’m sure jealousy will be one of Satan’s favorite tools until Jesus returns, but when we recognize what it is and where it comes from and then remember how God feels about it, letting go of those feelings of envy and jealousy will become much easier.

Heavenly Father, forgive us of our jealous thoughts and feelings.  Holy Spirit, help us to immediately recognize the spirit of jealousy rising up within us.  Help us to say “no” to those feelings and send genuine blessings in place of jealousy and envy.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!


**Our prayers become more powerful when we come together! I would love it if you would post a comment and share your prayer for the day.

Click here to visit blog

©2011, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  Genesis 28:6-30:24

January 3, 2010–If I Have Been on That Ark I May Have Jumped Overboard!

Today’s Reading:  Gen 7:1-10:5, 1 Chron 1:5-7, Gen 10:6-20, 1 Chron 1:8-16, Gen 10:21-30, 1 Chron 1:17-23, Gen 10:31-32

I just don’t think I could have survived!  From my calculations (don’t quote me because I’m not very good at math), Noah and his family were on that boat for twelve and a half months.  Twelve and a half months with…

  • No baths (I couldn’t make it one week without a bath)
  • All those animals (poop, urine, slobber…can I say stink!!)
  • Reptiles (frogs, lizards, and snakes) I would have had a heart attack
  • No privacy (just think about it.  There were young, hormonal men on that boat)
  • He said, she said/meow-meow (can you imagine how they must’ve gotten on each other’s nerves)
  • (SAD)Seasonal Affective Disorder (12.5 months with no sunlight and no Prozac—the animals were probably as depressed as the people)

I would like to publicly thank Noah and his family for saving the human race!  They made a huge sacrifice for us!  I don’t think I could have done it!

Can you imagine how they must have felt the day they walked off that boat?  Most of us would have probably kissed the ground, but not Noah; he immediately built an altar to his Lord.  God was pleased with Noah’s offering and made a promise that is still in effect today:

“I will never again curse the ground because of the human race, even though everything they think or imagine is bent toward evil from childhood.  I will never again destroy all living things.  As long as the earth remains, there will be planting and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night.” (Gen.8:21-22)

The next time you see a rainbow, take a minute to remember the covenant that your Heavenly Father made with Noah and you. Because of the rainbow neither Noah nor anyone since has had to worry that God is going to destroy the earth with water. Can you imagine the first time it rained after Noah and his family got off the ark?  They probably thought, “Where’s the boat?  Here we go again.”–Remember it had never rained before the flood.  Our all-knowing God knew they would be afraid, so He gave them a sign-a rainbow.  That’s just amazing!

Has there ever been a time when God knew you would be afraid so he gave you a sign so that you could make it through?

I remember a time about 15 years ago when I was going through a difficult time financially.  I was literally wondering what I was going to do and if God had forgotten me.  One Saturday there was a knock on the door and a friend from my church began to unload $200 worth of groceries.  I had said nothing to anyone about our need.  For me that was a sign from God that He was with me, He knew everything that was going and that I could make it through.  It was also a sign to my children that God cared about us.  I will never forget that day.

Have a wonderful Lord’s Day!

Praying for you!

Click here to visit blog

In the Potter’s Hands

I found this poem few days ago in my treasure chest.  I wrote it in 1997.  I had lost a lot:  a 22 year marriage, a really good friend, a successful career, my house, my car.  Jesus, the potter has been so faithful to me!

In the Potter’s Hands, written in 1997, by Dianne Miles (Guthmuller)

 

Here I am…high upon this shelf…isolated…lonely…

How long have I been here?

…days, weeks…maybe months.  I’ve lost track of time…I don’t like it here…I’m so bored.

But, it’s much better than the other places I’ve been.

First, there was that wheel…Round and round and round and round.

The Potter’s thumbs were constantly pushing and probing…one time He almost crushed me.  I don’t even feel like myself…

Who am I? … What am I? … Where am I? …Oh…I’m so tired

No!!! No!!!! …Not that!!!! …Not the fire…What did I do? …What did I say? …I’m sorry… I’ll be good… I’m sorry I didn’t turn out the way You planned …Please, oh please don’t destroy me …Why are You so mad at me?

Pushing me… crushing me… burning me alive…Is there anything left? …What do I look like?

Now, He’s ignoring me…how long has it been?  It’s a long way down.  It’s so high on this top shelf… I’m afraid… I think the Potter is disappointed in the way I turned out… What if He forgets about me? …I guess He’s decided to use me to balance this shelf.

Wait!!!! …He’s coming this way… He’s looking at me… staring at me… He’s smiling… He’s reaching for me…

Where am I going?…  I don’t know… I don’t care…

 …I’m in the Potter’s Hands

Page 20 of 20« First...10«1617181920
%d bloggers like this:
google53dcbfa4313dec77.html