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When Bad Times Come

By Crystal Godfrey

If you live long enough, you will encounter bad times. It doesnít matter what country you live in, or what cultural or ethnic background you come from, you will face trouble in this life. In John 16:33, Jesus tells his disciples, "In the world ye shall have tribulation." So, it is not a question of if you will go through bad times but when you will go through bad times.

It was during a very painful time in my own life that the Lord directed me to read the book of Job. Through Job, who probably had the most tragic day in the life of one person in all of history (other than Jesus Christ), the Lord showed me how to use the painful circumstances of life for His glory. It is my prayer that the Lord will use the lessons He taught me to encourage your heart and strengthen your walk with Him when bad times come into your life.

When bad times come, worship God

Job 1:20-21, "Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD."

When Job learned that he had lost all he owned and that all of his ten children were dead, he prostrated himself before God and worshiped Him. Even through his grief and mourning, Job realized that everything he had, including his children, had been given to him by God and that God could take them back any time He so desired. Job had the right heart attitude and that attitude was one of reverence and worship for the Giver of all things, in spite of his circumstance.

When bad times come, donít blame God

Job 1:22, "In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly."

How many times in our own lives do we look for someone or something to blame whenever difficult circumstances come our way? Job didnít look at this as an opportunity to point a finger at God. Instead, he uses this as another opportunity to bless the name of the Lord.

When bad times come, maintain your integrity

Job 2:3, "And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause."

Job could have easily used his bad times to justify turning away from God and toward sin. But he didnít. He continued to fear God and to turn away from what was evil in His sight. Job did what was right. Though his heart had to be breaking from his grief, he maintained his integrity with God and with those around him.

When bad times come, maintain your Christian witness

Job 2:9-10, "Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die. But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips."

God really showed me three principles in these verses and they are: maintain your integrity, maintain your Christian witness, and trust God. God allowed Satan to smite Job with "sore boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head" (verse 7). Not only did Job lose all that he possessed and all of his children, he also lost his own health. But Job does not let his circumstance turn him against God and he does not lose his Christian witness. He realizes that God is not a cosmic genie that is out there just to grant our every wish and whim. God allows the good in our lives as well as the adversity, and Job willingly accepted both from Him.

When bad times come, seek Godís presence through prayer

Job 5:7-8, "Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward. I would seek unto God, and unto God would I commit my cause."

In Chapters 4 and 5, Jobís friend Eliphaz wrongly laments about how Jobís suffering was a result of sin in his life, but one thing that he is right about is that when bad times come, we need to seek the presence of God through prayer. Speak to the Lord from your heart about what you are going through. Pray that He would give you the comfort that you will need during your times of trial and pray for His strength to endure the trial. Pour out your tears and your feelings to Him. We should be on our knees before God whether times are good or bad, but when bad times comes, it is especially important to stay in the presence of the Lord. This is what will help you through the bad times.

When bad times come, trust God

Job 13:15 "Though He slay me, yet will I trust in HimÖ"

Job knew that his life was in Godís hands and in spite of everything that had happened to him, he chose to continue to trust in the Lord. He didnít understand what was going on and he didnít know why he was suffering. Oftentimes God does not tell us why we are going through bad times. Knowing why is not as important as trusting the Sovereign One who is in control of the situation. All Job knew was that He could trust God. Trusting God is not easy to do when we are going through bad times, but it is essential to maintaining a growing and vibrant walk with the Lord. If we canít trust God during the bad times in life, then who can we trust?

When bad times come, wait on the Lord

Job 14:14, "ÖAll the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come."

Job was suffering excruciating pain from the boils that covered his body. He didnít know whether or not he would live or die, but either way he was willing to wait on the Lord. He knew that the Lord could do all things and that His purposes would not be thwarted (42:2). When bad times come, donít take matters into your own hands, but place them in Godís hands and wait on Him until your change comes.

When bad times come, keep your faith in God

Job 19:25, "For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth."

Even while Jobís "friends" Eliphaz, Zophar, and Bildad are adding to his suffering by concluding that he has committed some terrible sin and telling him that he needs to repent, Job still continues to keep his hope and faith in God. Yes, Job does question God and he does struggle in his faith during his time of intense trial, but he never loses faith in his Redeemer. The same God who "laid the foundation of the earth" (38:4), "shut up the sea with doors" (38:8), and "caused the dayspring to know his place" (38:12) is the same God that was with Job and helped him to persevere through his trials.

When bad times come, remain faithful to God

Job 23:10-11, "But He knows the way I take; when He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold. My foot has held fast to His path; I have kept His way and not turned aside."

To have faith in God is to remain faithful to Him, especially during the bad times in life. It is easy to remain faithful to God when things are going well in life but the real test of our faithfulness to Him is during our trials and sufferings. Job remains faithful to the Almighty God through what was probably the worst trial he ever had in his life.

When bad times come, read Godís Word

Job 23:12, "I have not departed from the command of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food."

Other than seeking the presence of God in prayer, this is the most important of all the things the Lord showed me in the book of Job. Just as not eating food for a long period of time will make a person weak, not spending time daily in the Word of God will make a Christian weak. It weakens your worship of God, your integrity, your trust, your faith in God and your faithfulness to God. Job knew the importance of staying in the Word of God. Not only that, he treasured Godís Word(s). This reminded me of Psalm 119:11 where David says, "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee." Remembering what the word of God says during a trial can bring great comfort and hope to those who are suffering. The word of God is our necessary food. Being in the Word of God is vital to our walk with God, especially when bad times come.

© 2003 Crystal Godfrey

Crystal Godfrey lives in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. She is the founder of Undivided Heart Ministries (, a ministry to single adults.

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