The past few months have been difficult for many people in this nation. Sadly it looks like things are only going to get worse as we move into 2009. More people will lose their jobs as more companies and states are forces to make drastic cuts to keep from going under. So, how are we as Christians suppose to respond to these things? There are many passages in the Word of God that could answer this for us. However one passage jumped out at me tonight (Jms 4:7-10). It is not my intention to start a debate with this post. Fact is, I doubt there will be anything to debate in it. This is a brief Bible study on the topic "How To Survive Difficult Days" based on James 4:7-10. When difficult times come many people seek to place blame. They want to blame their parents, their employeer, their government, or anyone/thing else they can find to blame. Some even seek to place blame on God Himself. However Scripture tells us that in difficult days we are not to go around trying to place blame on someone/thing. Rather Scripture instructs us to: "Submit therefore to God" (Jms 4:7a). We are to submit to God in difficult times. I suppose it is easy to submit to the Lord in easy days, when things are going the way we want them to go. However when things are out of our control, when we can't see five inches in front of us, when we have no clue how we are going to get through these times, then it seems harder to submit to God. Why? I suppose because we, as humans, like to think we are in control. That we are the captains of our souls, the masters of our destiny. Difficult times have a way of busting that balloon and, let's be honest, we don't like that. But it is when we are without, when we are in need, that we most need to submit to God. James tells us to "draw near to God and He will draw near to you" (Jms 4:5a). Instead of rebelling and fussing we should draw closer to God. We should focus even more on Bible reading, prayer, and faithfully serving the Lord. When we submit to Him and draw closer to Him then we are ready to deal with difficult days. But there is more. Not only are we to submit to God and draw near to Him, we are also to "resist the devil" and clean up our lives (Jms 4:7b,8). The devil is always around in difficult times urging us to respond in the wrong way. He always seeks to urge to to respond with anger, hatred, blame, and pride. However we are to resist that temptation and avoid those sins. We are to submit to God, draw near to Him, and then the devil will be forced away. James closes this section with the following admonition that, if you think about it, really sums up the whole point. "Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you" (Jms 4:10). Stop fighting God, stop trying to have things your own way, and submit to God. Humble yourselves in His Holy presence. Then, when He is ready, He will raise you up. Sometimes God uses the difficult times to sober us up (Jms 4:9) and to force us to take inventory of our lives. Therefore we should look on difficult times as blessings, as opportunities to grow deeper in our walk with the Lord. I pray we will all learn to humble ourselves and depend upon the Lord.