Facing Tough Times

April 5, 2017
by Anne Russell

In our area, this past winter seemed like a long time coming, but once it started, it seemed that it would never stop. During the month of February, we had very little snow, but bitterly cold winds with low temperatures to match. Many of us here become "snowbirds", who, while we long for spring's coming, travel to warmer climates. I am personally looking forward to a cruise to the southern Caribbean as a break away from the north.

As I was doing a little preparation for the trip, I reflected on the time many years ago when I visited the Holy Land. It brought back many fond memories, and I began to think about the things that happened in biblical days at this time of year. The first that came to mind was the dinner in Bethany when Jesus was surrounded with friends who came to see Him.

John 12:3 – Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus' feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. (NIV)

When the disciples were indignant at the waste, Jesus replied, "When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial" (Matthew 26:12 NIV). Jesus already knew about the tough times that He was facing.

Then I thought of the last time Jesus and the disciples celebrated the Passover together.

Luke 22:20-21 – After the supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table." (NIV)

I remembered that after this, they crossed over the Kidron Valley and went to the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus struggled with doing God's will, which involved enduring betrayal, false accusations, mocking, scourging, and finally, the horrors of crucifixion.

Any afflictions that I myself will face when I return from my cruise are so light by comparison with His. Like winter, tough times come to us all, but I believe that in whatever God has in store for us, He will also provide the strength and the means to overcome — just as Jesus overcame death and rose to victorious life.

John 12:36a – Put your trust in the light while you have it, so that you may become sons of the light. (NIV)

Knowing that Jesus died for me, for you, and for all who trust in His light is what gives us hope!

Prayer: Most gracious heavenly Father, we come to You this day giving thanks for all that You have done for us. Though we sometimes find life hard to bear, give us the strength that we need in our weakness to carry on, and we will give You all the glory. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Anne Russell <anbrussell@rogers.com>
Brampton, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks Anne for the encouraging words.


    Amen Anne, l hope you enjoyed your cruise.
    Blessings.


    Anne, thanks for sharing this reminder of the Last Supper and the beginning of our Lord Jesus Christ’s suffering so that we might be saved. Blessings.


    Thank you, Anne. Nice to see you back in print. If you’ve not taken that cruise yet, I wish you all the best If you have taken it, I trust it was enjoyable.


    Hello Anne,
    Good to hear from you again and to be thinking of these “last” events before Jesus’ death on the cross for us.
    Blessings!


    As I started to read this Devotional I somehow sensed that you had written it. It was wonderful to see your name at the end to confirm this. Thanks for your message, and I pray for God’s blessings on you and Bill.


    Dear Anne Russell,
    Thank you for a truly Biblical devotional.
    Continue to enjoy the Lord and his ways and to write of them.
    May God keep you well on the cruise. The nearest I have had to a cruise was a short trip on the Lake of Galilee when on a guided tour of Israel.
    I pray that our Lord will guide us in sharing our faith as we share our experiences and our resources with those in need.
    Keep writing, Anne.


    Thank you for your encouraging words which is timely today in my life. A few minutes ago, I too was thinking of situations in the bible where God stepped in to help His people who were desperate for His intervention. Perhaps none more than the Children of Israel facing the Red Sea in front and Pharaoh’s army pursuing and approaching from behind. He moved in and did a miracle. We, as His sons and daughters, could often use a miracle, small or big, in our times of need as we continue to work out our salvation with fear and trembling before Him.
    God bless your words to many lives today.


    Thank you for your reminder that we do not face difficult times alone but with One who knows and understands because He has gone before us.
    Many thanks for your Devotional.

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