When the Going Gets Tough

…the tough get going. Joseph Kennedy, the father of President John F. Kennedy, was the one who originally uttered this famous phrase. While there is truth to it, it clearly is a humanistic approach. It requires each person to be tough in all circumstances. It requires us to be self reliant. 

You can’t fall over these days without hitting your head on someone who has lost a job recently and is facing stress about their housing. Last night before our Man Cave event, I met a guy and started a casual conversation. I asked the common getting-to-know-you question, “what do you do?” Almost the moment I started the question, I had a little twinge of angst because there are so many facing employment issues today. But then I thought to myself, “yeah, but what are the odds?” Yes, these thoughts shot through my mind in the amount of time it took me to complete the question. Wouldn’t you know it? He got laid off from his job in October, and still hasn’t found a new job.

In speaking with him further, I was introduced to this man’s faith. While he isn’t working, and has nothing that even looks promising at the moment, he had a smile on his face as he said, “it will all work out somehow.” He went on to say that He knows God will provide for him and his family. He doesn’t know how, but he knows God will.

I don’t know how “tough” this man is, but he knows how tough his God is. The going is tough in his life. If I had more time to get around the room, I know I could have had virtually the same conversation with numerous other men. And many of them are tough by human standards. But in the men that I know, I’m confident that their circumstances are not going to be decided by how tough they are, or are not. Their circumstances, and their reactions to them, are all subject to an all powerful God.

I have specific knowledge of the difficulties of many of you who have taken the time to read my stuff. I also know that statistically, many have read this who I don’t know, or don’t know their circumstances, but they’re dealing with stuff too. I’ve gone through my own challenges. Thank God I didn’t and don’t have to rely on my own fortitude to get through them. In fact, many times I feel pretty battered and bruised by circumstances. But then I think of the many, many promises from God that He is my refuge, my very present help in times of trouble. I close this with one of my favorite passages in all of scripture, found in Isaiah chapter 40.

28 Do you not know?
       Have you not heard?
       The LORD is the everlasting God,
       the Creator of the ends of the earth.
       He will not grow tired or weary,
       and his understanding no one can fathom.
 29 He gives strength to the weary
       and increases the power of the weak.
 30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
       and young men stumble and fall;
 31 but those who hope in the LORD
       will renew their strength.
       They will soar on wings like eagles;
       they will run and not grow weary,
       they will walk and not be faint.
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