Greetings to our SUMC Family & Friends,

When life is good, it’s easy to trust that God is in control. But when it seems like everything around you is falling apart trust becomes more challenging. Jesus tells us in Matthew 11:28-30 to “Come to Him when we are weary. . .”, but what about when we feel completely broken? Paul says in Philippians 4:6–7 “Not to be anxious about anything”. But what about when we’re facing a crisis? Or several of them? Nothing lasts forever, even anguish recedes to give way to a new day once time has passed and our wounds have healed.

Author and motivational speaker John C. Maxwell in The Difference Maker: Making Your Attitude Your Greatest As-set said, “I’ve found that there are really only two kinds of people in this world when it comes to dealing with dis-couragement: splatters and bouncers. When splatters hit rock bottom, they fall apart, and they stick to the bottom like glue. On the other hand, when bouncers hit bottom, they pull together and bounce back.”

Shakespeare once said, “There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.” For circumstances to un-fold, they must first fall apart to rebuild a stronger foundation—When a person hits rock bottom, the only place to go is up. This can be enriching, since it reaffirms the human spirit cannot be crushed, despite what might look like overwhelming odds.

We must make room for the new in our lives, by letting go of those things we can’t control from the past. If your thoughts are negative and overwhelm you, release them instead of holding on. While it may appear your life and your world are falling apart, it is laying the framework for its rebuilding exactly as it should. Your greatest break-throughs will often arrive during your moments of the greatest hopelessness. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. reminds us: “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”

So, when it seems your life is falling apart, look to the future—For in the ruins of the past is a signpost pointing you to something more wonderful. Jesus doesn’t ask us to pretend like everything is fine when it’s not. It’s okay to have doubts. But, as believers and followers of Jesus Christ, we have tools to help us maintain (and even increase) our faith through the trials and tribulations we face.

Here are five tips for trusting God/Jesus when your world is falling apart.
1. Pray & Pray honestly
God already knows how you really feel, and what you really think (Hebrews 4:12–13). He knows your circum-stances and how they’re affecting you (Psalm 139:2). So be honest with Him! Being honest with God through prayer is an exercise in trust. Be transparent and ask God for the help and healing you truly need.

2. Surround yourself with like-minded believers –
During times of crisis, the people you turn to and surround yourself with can have a profound influence on how you handle that crisis. The words of comfort they offer and the advice they give can directly impact the actions you take and the beliefs that take hold on you during this time. Iron Sharpens Iron. (Proverbs 27:17)

3. Be vulnerable –
If no one knows what you’re going through, they can’t help you. Being vulnerable is hard, and it requires humility, but it’s important for Christians to share life together so that we can lift each other up. “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. (Psalm 139:23)

4. Turn to Scripture –
In our suffering, we long to hear God’s voice. God always has words of assurance for you even in our darkest moments. “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1-3)

5. Remember the times He has been faithful –
Look for times when you can confidently say Jesus was there for you and demonstrated His faithfulness. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)

Do not lose heart
The early church faced immense persecution and challenges, and many of the church’s strongest leaders gave their lives for their relentless effort to share the gospel. The Apostle Paul offered these words of encouragement to his fellow believers, and they still ring true for us today:

“Therefore, do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal”
(2 Corinthians 4:16–18).

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Fred