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Session 30

How to have joy in hard times

Read: 1 Samuel 21, Psalm 34

Think back to some of the most stressful or scary moments in your life. How did you react? If you’re like most people, praising God probably wasn’t the first thing on your mind. But, David had a different idea: In the middle of his troubles, his focus was on the Almighty.

In 1 Samuel 21, David was on the run without food, weapons or any sort of provision. Later, in fleeing from King Saul, his decision to defect to Achish, king of Gath, raises suspicions and David’s fears. David turned to carving the walls and drooling to convince the king he was insane. Yet God provided every step of the way, from giving David and his men the consecrated bread to sparing his life from the suspicious king.

Focusing on God and His promises will help us have joy in the middle of scary situations.

Out of this adversity David wrote Psalm 34, a beautiful song of praise that glorified God, and focused on God’s promises, in the middle of David’s troubles. The opening verse says it all: “I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips” (Psalm 34:1).

We all face troubles sooner or later, but if you’re a follower of Jesus you can know that God will carry you through them. In Psalm 34:8, David declares, “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.”

Worry, doubt and fear can multiply our troubles exponentially. When we praise God through the tough times, however, we focus on the One who can solve our problems in the best way, in His time.

David wasn’t different from any Jesus follower today; in fact, we have the Holy Spirit living in us to help. And, focusing on God and His promises—like David did—will help us have joy in the middle of scary situations.

Reflect:

  • Think back to when God helped you through difficulties. How did God show His provision and care through those situations?
  • What is one way you can keep your focus on God in the midst of difficult times?
  • Do you have a relationship with Jesus, who promises to help you through difficulties? If not, you can start one today.

1

When hope seems unattainable

When hope seems unattainable

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2

What if your kids aren’t really yours?

What if your kids aren’t really yours?

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3

Miracles are more than moments

Miracles are more than moments

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4

But God, I don’t want to

But God, I don’t want to

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5

Only God can judge me

Only God can judge me

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6

How do I know if God’s calling me?

How do I know if God’s calling me?

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7

Ask this when fighting a losing battle

Ask this when fighting a losing battle

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8

Kill your idol, before it kills you

Kill your idol, before it kills you

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9

Repentance is more than being sorry

Repentance is more than being sorry

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10

How to walk forward in faith

How to walk forward in faith

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11

Do you blend in?

Do you blend in?

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12

Coincidence? I think not.

Coincidence? I think not.

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13

You can be forever changed

You can be forever changed

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14

When what god asks feels impossible

When what god asks feels impossible

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15

Not all anger is sinful

Not all anger is sinful

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16

It’s not too late to change

It’s not too late to change

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17

When impatience wins

When impatience wins

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18

Who can you count on?

Who can you count on?

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19

Bite your tongue

Bite your tongue

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20

“But God, what if I did this?”

“But God, what if I did this?”

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21

No more excuses

No more excuses

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22

You can’t unsee this

You can’t unsee this

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23

I don’t want to be here anymore

I don’t want to be here anymore

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24

The long road to an overnight success

The long road to an overnight success

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25

Overcoming overwhelming obstacles

Overcoming overwhelming obstacles

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26

The danger of jealousy

The danger of jealousy

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27

Why do my motives even matter?

Why do my motives even matter?

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28

When doing the right thing gets you in trouble

When doing the right thing gets you in trouble

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29

How to choose between competing loyalties

How to choose between competing loyalties

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30

How to have joy in hard times

How to have joy in hard times

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31

I never thought I’d do that

I never thought I’d do that

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32

Is opportunity a sign of God’s approval?

Is opportunity a sign of God’s approval?

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33

When you want revenge

When you want revenge

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34

Have you ever forgotten to say thank you?

Have you ever forgotten to say thank you?

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35

When revenge kills

When revenge kills

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36

How to prevent regret

How to prevent regret

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37

Between a rock and a hard place?

Between a rock and a hard place?

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38

How to get your next big thing

How to get your next big thing

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39

What happens when your plans fall apart?

What happens when your plans fall apart?

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40

Who to blame when things go wrong

Who to blame when things go wrong

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41

Disobedience always has consequences

Disobedience always has consequences

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