Leading Your Family Through Hard Times
We are living in some pretty crazy times, would you agree? All around the world right now, people are suffering through tragedy, wars and devastation. We've had our share of loss in this country too, but it seems lately that some of these sufferings and tragedies have hit a little too close to home.
So how do you respond when hard times hit your family? What do you do when you find yourself discouraged, depressed, defeated or even devastated by the circumstances in your life? I'm not just talking about global social issues here - I'm talking about how you personally maintain your footing when your world is spinning out of control?
Let's face it, the bible promises us that in this life, we will have troubles! James said, "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds.." James 1:2
I wish I could testify that at the onset of hard times I mount my horse with painted face like Mel Gibson in Braveheart and lead my family into the battle with great bravado and an unforgettable speech. But it just doesn't work like that. If God isn't writing the speech - no one's going to follow behind me!!
Recently our church moved out of the building that we've occupied for over the past 21 years. It has been one of the most emotional and unsettling experiences I've had as a pastor. Change isn't easy for any of us. As we're moving forward in faith with our church to new beginnings, and working through the emotions that come with these changes, I've found more eyes on me than usual. Even my adult children are still watching my wife and I to see how we will handle the changes.
Those around you in your family aren't looking for a valiant speech or an impenetrable wall of strength. Those things won't help them. What they need is someone willing to look up and look in to Christ in you, the hope of Glory!
Scroll down to the Coaching Points for some practical ways you can minister to your family and lead them through hard times even if you aren't sure where you're going yourself, taken from the Apostle Paul:
"For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirits in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith - that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God." Ephesians 3:14-20
I'm praying for you,
The Father's Gameplan for Winning Back Your Family
1. Encourage your family even though you are suffering.
Empathy, which I was never taught on the football field is a great gift to those who are suffering. "So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you'll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind. I know you're already doing this; just keep on doing it" (1Th 5:11 MSG)
2. Get low and pray - for real!
God loves to respond to us with His Strength and power, but many times He waits for us to exhaust all of our resources and come to Him in prayer. Breakthrough begins when we get low - down on our knees - and pray.
3. Connect your family to Christ in you.
Christ in us is ALWAYS the answer. A wise man once said to me - confidence is the byproduct of predictability. If you are rooted and grounded in Christ's love toward you, then your heart will soar with joy - not because of your circumstances, but because you have the greatest treasure of all - CHRIST IN YOU!!
4. Always respond with God's love.
I am not able to muster up enough love to react with perfect love every time with my kids. While I find myself short tempered and reactive, it's a sign: I'm not rooting myself and grounding myself in God's love toward me. You might find yourself there today. Look up and let God love them through you.
5. Bless your family and those God brings your way
Beloved, you are never a better example of God's love and the sacrifice of Jesus than when you are blessing others even during your own times of difficulty and suffering. The reality is, when you are hurting and reach out to comfort someone else, you yourself will be replenished and helped.
"He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. The more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ." 2 Cor 1:4-5 NLT
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Published on October 22, 2014.