Paul’s teachings on hard times

In 1854 Stephen Foster published a song that has truly stood the test of time. It’s not “My Old Kentucky Home,” nor is it “Old Folks at Home.” But I just counted more than 20 major recordings of this song in the last 25 years! People from Bruce Springsteen to Mavis Staples and Bob Dylan to Johnny Cash, not to mention Yo-Yo Ma with James Taylor have kept this song alive.

Let us pause in life’s pleasures and count its many tears,

While we all sup sorrow with the poor;

There’s a song that will linger forever in our ears;

Oh! Hard times come again no more.


‘Tis the song, the sigh of the weary,

Hard Times, hard times, come again no more

Many days you have lingered around my cabin door;

Oh! Hard times come again no more.

I believe the song has been kept alive for more than 160 years because of the relevance of hard times. Everybody goes through them! We can all sing those mournful notes because we truly feel them.

In the book of 2 Corinthians, the Apostle Paul speaks of some hard times he had gone through in his service to God. He writes about floggings, stonings, hunger and shipwreck. Here’s what he concludes:

“Indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead; who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us, He on whom we have set our hope. And He will yet deliver us,” (2 Corinthians 1: 9-10).

It was Paul’s belief the hard times were to teach him to trust in God and not in himself. He felt God was always his deliverer through whatever hardships might come his way. I want to believe that, too!

Whether you are going through hard or not so hard times, the churches of Carson City extend a hearty welcome.

Faith and Insight by Bruce Henderson, Airport Road Church of Christ, Carson City.


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