Tighten Your Grasp and Worship: When Life Gets Tough

I am a mother of two quite severely developmentally delayed boys with Autism. Though they are at the ages of 17 and 18 physically, they are developmentally at the age of around 3 yrs. We have had our struggles over the years,  but as they turn into adults, our endurance is waning and the difficult moments are increasing. This is hard – very hard. So naturally we look to God for help during our struggles and I have likened my faith as holding on to it with a white knuckle grasp, not letting go for anything because I would fall very hard if I did not hold on tight to my faith. But I know there needs to be something much deeper to keep that grasp rather than a fear of having no hope at all. I have prayed for wisdom because it has been such a struggle lately.  I believe the Lord has revealed what I have been missing and I found it in the book of Jeremiah!

A tough message

The book of Jeremiah, to be honest, has frightened me.  God was so angry with the children of Israel for their idol worship, and it was terrifying to read some of Gods words in Jeremiah. These were His special people, and His message to them was that the judgment to come to them would be their destruction and doom. It was a severe message, and I think Jeremiah struggled with this too because in chapter 20 he questions why he was ever born. He was having a really hard time with this.

But in chapter 32, in the midst of the promised siege from Babylon, God instructs Jeremiah to purchase a field. And I love this New Living Translation of Jeremiahs response. He says this in verses 24-25: See how the siege ramps have been built against the city walls! Through war, famine, and disease, the city will be handed over to the Babylonians, who will conquer it. Everything has happened just as you said. And yet, O Sovereign Lord, you have told me to buy the fieldpaying good money for it before these witnesseseven though the city will soon be handed over to the Babylonians.

Our response to God during trials

Even though Jeremiah was faithful to God in conveying Gods message to the people, he was along for the ride. He also would have to endure the fate of the children of Israel who had chosen idols over God and were being punished for it. Jeremiah was told that he himself would suffer during this time. And though he did not yet understand Gods instruction to him, Jeremiah uttered these words: O Sovereign Lord. (Now the other translations do not use the words O Sovereignbut in looking up the original word Lord Adonai, it is used where God is submissively and reverently addressed, which is why they used the words O Sovereign Lord in this translation.)

White knuckle faith

This to me is that white knuckle faith. Amidst the losing battle against their enemy after being forewarned by God, during the turmoil of swords clashing and the imminent loss to the Babylonians, Jeremiah tightens his grasp on his faith that God is Sovereign.  He is to be submitted to and revered, and that is faith.  Amidst all the struggles of life and discouragements and disappointments of events, our one solid truth to cling to is that God is Sovereign! He knows the beginning from the end, He knows what is truly good and He knows how that good will come about. And the answer to all those whyquestions in the trials lies in Gods promise of restoration in the later part of Jeremiah chapter 32 and verse 39 And I will give them one heart and one purpose: to worship me forever, for their own good and for the good of all their descendants.

Tighten your grasp and worship

Worshipping God forever and through all the battles of our own circumstances is for our own good and for the good of our children! He is Sovereign and His purpose is clear, He wants our one heart and our one purpose to be worship towards Him.

Tighten your grasp, dear ones who are struggling through trials and difficult circumstances! Cling to the Almighty who is deeply invested in us so much so that He sent His Son to suffer the death of the cross in order to redeem us to Himself! Worship Him today!

Janice Nicholson


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    Wow… thanks for this Janice. Humbling to read (as I can be so fickle without storms), but inspiring and challenging. So thank you! Now… time for worship.


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    Thank you for sharing this, Janice. SO encouraging. I was listening to this song as I was reading your article, and it was so appropriate and so beautiful…

    “Because He lives
    I can face tomorrow
    Because He lives
    Every fear is gone
    I know He holds my life my future in His hands

    Amen, Amen
    I’m alive, I’m alive
    Because He lives
    Amen, Amen
    Let my song join the one that never ends”

    -Because He lives (Amen)


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    Thank you so much for your encouraging words. Isn’t it wonderful to have a hope beyond the trials of today? He has greater purposes in mind for us. Oh, What A Savior!


    • Janice Nicholson

      Those purposes may not always be understood but He is always the same and never changing which is such a solid hope for sure!


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    Coming from a man’s viewpoint I can greatly appreciate your situation and are grateful God has given you the strength to persevere and to share such strength in the Lord, by trusting Him. I can imagine the tears and cries to God for help that must occur daily. A mother bears far more of the burden in such health cases and we men do well to listen and hear your cries and support you by God’s grace as much as we can, especially in prayers. That DOES NOT mean we men and husbands don’t suffer also and bear great burdens in these cases. I love children and do the best I can to interact with them, take them off mothers hands when I can and of course if they let me and the children will come to me. My wife works as a substitute teacher for ESE kids of varying levels. It takes a special love to care for children and people of all ages with severe health issues and disabilities. I can imagine that at times you feel hindered in your ministries for the Lord. Be encouraged as your article on your struggles and triumphs will help MANY in similar situations. It will help them to know that God is always with those who know Him as their Savior, even in their darkest hours of struggles, depression, overwhelmedness and will show them the mountain tops of triumph. He will be their strength and guide in the valleys of pasture and rivers flowing with water where they may seem to coast along until the next pothole or heartache crosses their path. And perhaps if an unbeliever reads this it may be used to draw them to the Savior! Perhaps you can write articles like this for your local newspaper (perhaps the Lord will allow them to be published and reach unbelievers as well and other Christians whom AssemblyHub does not reach) May you find encouragement today and soar above and walk above the mundane and hard issues of daily life..
    Isaiah 40:31 Habakkuk 3:19


    • Janice Nicholson

      Thanks for the encouragement Calvin. I have written little personal tracts to give with gifts at Christmas time before and have been surprised to find out how many Christians are involved in my boys lives which is quite a comfort to know God really is keeping our boys in his care.
      I’m sure you are an encouragement in the things you do, it really does make a difference having other believers reach out and help in those practical ways and in prayer as well.


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