4 ways to make it in tough times

As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. (Matthew 13:20-21).

In Matthew 13:20-21, Jesus uses an agricultural metaphor to describe a spiritual reality all of us have experienced. For days or weeks after a powerful church service, we feel like we could charge hell with a water pistol. Then, we get that phone call we wish we hadn’t answered or the text we weren’t expecting.

When it comes to following Jesus, emotion will not sustain our devotion. If we want to make it in tough times, we have to establish deep roots in our walks with Jesus.

Four Ways to Stay Connected to God When Your Emotion Is Waning

1. Read your Bible.

If you’re already thinking of reasons why you don’t have time, take a deep breath. This week, give the Bible 10 minutes of your day, every day. 

When we see what God says, we're more likely to do what God wants. If you’re not sure where to start, check out these studies, or text "Read My Bible" to 30303 and we'll send you a new devotional each morning. 

2. Go to church. 

Even if singing or listening to a sermon is the last thing you feel like doing, the church is the best place to be when your faith is floundering. 

Faith comes from hearing God's Word, and the Bible says singing to Jesus is like a weapon in the hands of God's people (Psalm 149:9-7, Romans 10:17). When we sing and study the Bible together, we are growing our faith and suiting up for the week ahead. 

3. Serve others. 

Serving gets us outside of ourselves and reminds us that God is still at work, even when we can't see it. Jesus once reminded the Pharisees, "My Father is always working and so am I" (John 5:17). 

Jesus did not come to be served, but to serve (Matthew 20:26-28).  So if we want to see Jesus, one of the best places to look is among His people in the church.  

4. Invest in community. 

We need other people in our lives. Hebrews 10:24-25 tells us to “consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another.”

When life gets hard, we need a fresh perspective. Good, godly friends will help us see ourselves and our circumstances more clearly.  

These are not four ways to be a better Christian or to be spiritually superior. They are opportunities to build habits and rhythms that will sustain our lives through the good and the bad. 

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