By Barbara Francis —

We all need to be asking God to enlarge our hearts to himself and to others and to increase our trust that he will work in his way in his time. We must not insist that God do things our way, and we can only humbly bow before the fact that we do not understand all his ways and leave the results to him. Sometimes it may be difficult to see what God is doing when it looks like he’s not doing anything especially with rebellious, sick, or sinful people, or when those we love take stupid or ignorant detours from the straight and narrow. But he is always present to our prayers for our chief prayer burdens, the person hardest on our hearts, and the seemingly most-resistant situation. -Sylvia Gunter

Troubled times are fresh opportunities to see God work in our lives.

A family member may have died. Our home may be jeopardy because of economic reversals. Our retirement and college funds seem to evaporate before our eyes.

And we ask,  God, where are you in it all?  Friend, he is right in the middle of your life, holding you up in ways you perhaps cannot see right now. Please, be comforted and reminded:  God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble  (Psalm 46:1).

The Psalms are a place I go when the bottom falls out of my life. There is something about the raw honesty that attracts me to them when I have run out of faith. David and the other writers give words to my worries and fears and remind me of the One I can truly trust.

Troubled times are not only fresh opportunities to see God work in our lives, they are also times when the enemy of our soul wants to come with lies, half-truths, and condemnations. Have you felt his attack and flaming arrows lately?  I have! This month has been a dark one for me foggy thinking, loss of motivation, and wondering if God is even using me anymore.

So, what’s a person to do in such a season as this? Listen to praise music. Let someone else praise God on your behalf when your tongue is sticking to the roof of your mouth. Tell a trusted friend about the quagmire you’re in and then have them pray for you. That’s what I did yesterday and today — had people pray over me.

They didn’t have to fix my problems but I did want them to understand my struggle. And, I must admit, the fog has lifted. How kind of God.

A dynamic Bible teacher, Barbara Francis makes the scriptures come alive and excels at relating biblical principles to everyday living. She loves helping people find hope by bringing Jesus into their actual lives, not the ones they wish they had. She is honest with her audience, encouraging them to be honest with themselves. Using humor and personal stories, she makes listeners feel as if she has read their personal journals or is speaking just to them. Barbara possesses the unique ability to speak truth and grace into people?s lives, no matter where the individuals are in their spiritual journeys.

Books by Barbara Francis include Unexpected Turns: Leaning into the Losses of Life and Following Him When I Can’t See the End of the Road. She has also written three Bible study guides, An Invitation to Eavesdrop: Finding Yourself in the Psalms; Private Conversations: Reflections on the Prayer Life of Jesus; and Following Him When I Can’t See the End of the Road: A Personal Study Guide, all of which are available by contacting the author.

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Barbara Francis

A dynamic Bible teacher, Barbara makes the scriptures come alive and excels at relating biblical principles to everyday living. She loves helping people find hope by bringing Jesus into their actual lives, not the ones they wish they had. She is honest with her audience, encouraging them to be honest with themselves. Using humor and personal stories, she makes listeners feel as if she has read their personal journals or is speaking just to them. Barbara possesses the unique ability to speak truth and grace into people?s lives, no matter where the individuals are in their spiritual journeys. Barbara joined the staff of Campus Crusade for Christ in 1977. She is currently serving on the National Team for the Campus Ministry, giving focus to prayer on college campuses world-wide. In addition to campus ministry, Barbara has engaged audiences for nearly thirty years at hundreds of retreats and conferences in the United States, East Asia, Eastern and Western Europe, and Central America. She also founded Koinonia, a twenty-five-yearold women's fellowship in Salt Lake City, Utah, dedicated to teaching God?s word to women and reaching out to the community in a creative, evangelistic manner. Books by Barbara Francis include Unexpected Turns: Leaning into the Losses of Life and Following Him When I Can't See the End of the Road. She has also written three Bible study guides, An Invitation to Eavesdrop: Finding Yourself in the Psalms; Private Conversations: Reflections on the Prayer Life of Jesus; and Following Him When I Can't See the End of the Road: A Personal Study Guide, all of which are available by contacting the author. Barbara writes three inspiring monthly devotions enjoyed by thousands via email, entitled Embraced, Devoted to Prayer, and Prayer Pages. Married in 1974, Barbara and her husband, Bob, have two grown children and two grandchildren. To contact Barbara, order books or Bible study guides, sign up to receive Barbara's monthly e-mail devotions, or schedule a speaking engagement, please send email communications to: Barbara.Francis@uscm.org. Or write to: Campus Crusade for Christ Attention: Barbara Francis 100 Lake Hart Drive, Dept. 2500 Orlando, FL 32832

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