Erin, Danika, Wesley & Samuel

What gets you through the hard times?

I love the story of Abraham and Isaac (Genesis 22:1–14). Just when Abraham and Sarah finally had their long awaited son, Isaac, God told Abraham to climb a mountain and to kill Isaac as a sacrifice. This command was so unimaginable that Abraham probably thought he had heard it wrong. Maybe he asked, “You want me to do what?

At the last moment, just as Abraham was raising the knife to kill his son, God provided a different sacrifice: a ram caught in the bushes.

Sometimes our lives seem hopeless. Family members lose jobs. We move to a new house or a new city to look for a new start. We wonder if God is ever coming to our rescue.

In hard times, we may struggle to remember that God is always faithful. God’s plans may be different from ours. Like Abraham, we may not understand what God is asking of us. But in our most desperate moments, let’s hold on to our faith, remembering that God is with us and will provide exactly what we need.

—Erin Burke, 24


The faltering economy has affected the way we live. On my block, many houses are vacant; and struggling families share their homes with others. For the first time in my life, I am going without some of the things I consider needs.

God may be using the economy to change my heart. I am learning to be content in all circumstances. I am depending on God for my true needs and letting go of my wants. I am learning to manage more carefully the resources God has given me and to share what I have. All around us, families who have never been in need are waking up to empty pantries and wearing worn-out shoes. The economic crisis is an opportunity for us to share the love of Christ and everything that God has given us.

—Danika Cooley


I take comfort in the ways I am truly wealthy. I have a lot of good friends. I have parents who love me. I have a college education that has broadened my view of the world and my place in it. I have a job that pays moderately well, and I have hobbies that I pursue passionately. Most of all, I have the love of Jesus Christ and the promise of salvation. I have the security of knowing that Jesus loves me despite my flaws and that he will always be there for me when I need comfort and guidance. Money cannot buy the things that are truly important in life.

—Wesley Overhults


The economic crisis has affected my family in many ways; but because of several chronic health problems, having health insurance that covers our medical expenses is critical. To provide the best possible life for his family, my father has changed jobs three times. The financial burden and the stress of the last few years has made it difficult to be happy around my house.

What carries my family through this struggle is remembering that as Christians, we put our faith in God, not money. Trusting in God to provide remains my family’s biggest source of strength and gives us peace that cannot be bought. Our faith puts money in perspective by reminding us that the greatest gift we will ever receive is free.

—Samuel Rogers, 18

—from devozine (November/December 2012). Copyright © 2012 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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