Tips, thoughts for surviving in tough times

Posted: Friday, October 10, 2008

Tough times shouldn't surprise us. In a text intended to comfort His disciples, Jesus told them trouble was ahead but they could be cheerful through it all (John 16:33).

How is it possible to be up on down days?

Here are three life changing tips to help you survive and thrive during tough times.

Start each day thankful

Thirty years ago, my wife, Pauline, was hospitalized for five weeks with a condition the doctor said might take her life and after her miraculous recovery, I became ill. During those difficult days, I sometimes went into my office at night to endorse checks so that my family would have money if I died before morning.

Then a statement by A.W. Tozer, the late author of enduring Christian classics, changed everything.

"Thanksgiving has great curative powers," he wrote, and I decided to test his claim. From that day to this, I have risen early to give thanks for things I used to take for granted. This daily development of a thankful heart has improved my health and given me peace, even during tough times."

Increase your giving

Memories of my teen years frequently include hearing my pastor quote what must have been one of his favorite Bible verses: "Give and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over" (Luke 6:38).

Increasing our giving may seem difficult during tough financial times, but the bountiful return promised in this verse has always intrigued me and has often been acted

on with dramatic results by people of faith.

On the wall of my office I keep the following quote of the noted author of "Pilgrim's Progress," John Bunyan: "A MAN THERE WAS, THOUGH SOME DID COUNT HIM MAD; THE MORE HE GAVE AWAY THE MORE HE HAD."

Bunyan wouldn't have considered deferring giving until a rise in the Dow; he believed in generous giving now; expecting a greater return than on any earthly investment.

An alarming development in some churches in the current economic downturn is a decrease in missionary giving. In contrast, their forbears often increased donations for missions during tough times and their faith was rewarded.

Disregard doom prophets

On Oct. 29, 1929, the stock market crash that brought on the Great Depression took place. Ever since, many have predicted a repeat. They've all been wrong.

In the 1970s, the survivalist movement pronounced a financial crash or a devastating military attack would occur. They were wrong.

In the 1980s, a small army of panic peddlers convinced thousands that an economic crash was imminent. They were wrong.

As the year 2000 approached, many were fearful a computer collapse known as the Y2K bug would bring horrific economic results. They were wrong.

Do you see a pattern here that contributes to peace of mind?

Faith enables us to be calm in chaos; trusting in tough times.

Roger Campbell is an author, a broadcaster and a columnist who was a pastor for 22 years. He can be reached at

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