God Gives Grace To Help In Time Of Need

“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)

Many of my North Carolina readers remembered that I was fired from my position as county manager where I lived in 2004. The 3 to 2 vote that resulted in my dismissal came as quite a surprise. I had committed no offense. In fact, the local county commission chairman characterized it as a “hatchet job”.

In the days that followed, I was hounded day and night by newspaper and television reporters. For a week, my dismissal seemed to be one of the lead stories on the 6:00 p.m. newscasts on every station in Raleigh, North Carolina. I had never witnessed anything quite like the firestorm of media attention that my firing received.

I am grateful for the faith that I had. I could not have survived those weeks and months without the peace and comfort of the Lord Jesus. I had also received hundreds of telephone calls, emails, and personal visits from friends and supporters. It was a period of time I would not have wished on anyone, but also a time where I realized just how many friends I had made in the four years I had lived in my adopted community.

Life is not always fair and we have to play the hand that we are dealt. Very few people in the town I was living agreed with the action that the local county commission took. But, it was done and my family and I dealt with the pain that came from this unexpected surprise that life had brought our way.

Ironically, I confessed to you how much trouble I had finding time for Bible study and prayer. My life was crowded and I had asked God to help me. He answered that prayer with an exclamation point! But He also let me know how much He loved me, reminded me that He will take care of things, and sent me the added measures of grace and peace to deal with what had happened. He is a great God.

When hard times come, God expects for us to model the Christian conduct that will honor Him. Indeed, when the world looks at us during trying times, they should see the same person in the valley that they have seen on the mountaintop.

Needless to say, my Bible study and prayer time began to improve. In fact, God reminded me that in spite of my station in life, there are seven truths on which I can count:

1. I have a great family – blood and Christian – that loves me unconditionally.

2. Serving God will not always be easy. “And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.” (Luke 14:27)

3. Following God with life choices can be costly. “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” (Matthew 16:24)

4. No matter what the circumstances, God has a plan for my life. “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

5. The Lord presents himself in very real ways when trouble comes. “For I know that my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth; and after my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God.” (Job 19:25-26)

6. God will never turn His back on me. “I will not leave you nor forsake you.” (Joshua 1:5)

7. It is important to keep things in perspective. The devil will win a battle or two, but remember, the victory has already been won. “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.” (1 John 5:4)

Amazingly, I was hired back to my old position three months later after the elections.

Many times, I don’t know what tomorrow will bring. None of us does. But, the words to an old song have brought me comfort during that time:

Many things about tomorrow
I don’t seem to understand
But I know who holds tomorrow,
And I know who holds my hand.

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