Overcoming the Hard Times- Breaking the Cycles of Defeat


On this fallen earth, we will experience a constant change in seasons, and the closer we get to His return, the more difficult it will get on the earth. After the Flood, the Lord said:


“While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night, shall not cease.”

Genesis 8: 22


On the earth, because of sin, we see difficult seasons come where it becomes hard to endure. Paul warned regarding the Last Days:


“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:”

2 Timothy 3: 1


The Greek word for “perilous” is “chalepos” meaning hard to take or bear, troublesome, harsh, and dangerous. Paul further explained to Timothy:


“But you have carefully followed my doctrines, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra- what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.”

2 Timothy 3: 10-12


In these verses, the first two times Paul says, ‘persecutions” he uses the Greek word, “diogmos meaning persecution. Then in verse twelve, he uses the Greek word, “dioko”meaning:


  • To make run or flee
  • To drive away
  • To chase or run after someone
  • To mistreat
  • Persecute on an account of something.
  • Hostility


One of the enemy’s strategies is to launch hostility toward you so you flee or run away. Unfortunately, what you run from you run back into. If we go to Genesis chapter twenty-six, we see the account of when a famine struck the land once again in the days of Isaac.


“There was a famine in the land, besides the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went to Abimelech king of the Philistines, in Gerar.”

Genesis 26: 1


The account of the famine in the time of Abraham is found in Genesis chapter twelve, verse ten. Abraham in response to the severe famine fled to Egypt and things didn’t go well, when the Pharoah sought to take Sarah when Abraham misled him into believing Sarah was his sister. Abraham, the mighty man of faith, would make the same mistake again in Genesis chapter twenty, where once again Abraham claims Sarah is his sister to King Abimelech.


When Isaac faces a famine, it looks like history is about to repeat itself. The enemy loves to remind us of the past and convince us that once again we will fail. All too often we must face the same giants that have challenged us or our family before.


“Then the Lord appeared to him and said, ‘Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land of which I shall tell you. Dwell in this land, and I will be with you and will bless you; for to you and your descendants I give all these lands, and I will perform the oath which I swore to Abraham your father.”

Genesis 26: 2-3


When we face hard times, our flesh always wants to run. Learning to dig in your heels and enduring difficult seasons comes when you encounter Him in the Secret Place. In difficult seasons where we make our abiding place and where we remain and linger longer.


In verse six, we read:


“So Isaac dwelt in Gerar.”

Genesis 26: 6


The Hebrew for “dwelt” here is the same word used in Psalm 91, verse 1. Isaac set himself down and made this place his dwelling place. Isaac heard what the Lord said and believed Him, so he abided in the place of the Word.


In the Aramaic, we see:


Dwell in this land, and My Word shall be to thee for a helper; and I will bless thee. For to thee and to thy son will I give all these lands; and I will confirm the oath that I have sworn to Abraham thy father;

Genesis 26: 3 Targum Onkelos


In this land, during a famine when fear was causing havoc among the people, Isaac came to a place of peace and confidence. How? The Word was with Him, and the Word was his helper.


However, Isaac made the same mistake as his father.


“And the men of the place asked about his wife. And he said, ‘She is my sister’; for he was afraid to say, ‘She is my wife,’ because he thought, ‘lest the men of the place kill me for Rebekah, because she was beautiful to behold.”

Genesis 26: 7


One of the greatest battles we must face and win is in our love walk. Do we walk in self-preservation love or abounding in His love where we would lay down our lives for the brethren? Too many fail this test that we will all face, often many times.


“But faith working through love”

Galatians 5: 6


If we are to walk by faith, then we must also walk in His love. The areas in our life where His love fails to flow can become avenues for the enemy to come in and steal, kill, and destroy. In the difficult seasons, we will find the Lord calls us to come aside in the Secret Place to hear His voice. When we have a fresh Word from Heaven, faith arises. But then we must pass the love test. Our love must stand strong and pure.


When we pass it, and we know we can come boldly before the throne to ask and receive.


“Then Isaac sowed in that land, and reaped in the same year a hundredfold; and the Lord blessed him. The man began to prosper…”

Genesis 26: 12, 13a


In times of famine, the enemy and our flesh seek to persuade us to hold on to what we have. But when you stand in a now faith, with a now hope and a now love you don’t pull back but press forward. When everyone else is in recession and decline, the Lord lifts you and brings you into abundance.


Difficult seasons expose our hearts and our weaknesses. We can abide in the world’s recession and be held captive to the economy and supplies of the world. Or you can abide in the Secret Place and make it your residence. When you do the report that you listen to is Heaven’s, and the Word is the authority in your life and your Helper. You seek out and listen to the Word. Then instead of pulling back, you press forward because you know:


“Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness.”

2 Corinthians 9: 9


When you have a famine of the Now Word in the time of famine on the earth, you will have a famine of faith and confidence. But when you have an abundance of the Now Living Word, the Now Living Word will increase in you and then around you. His Word will always cause that which is barren to bear fruit, and recessionary seasons become abounding ones. When we know He is our Source and Supply and we know we stand before Him with confidence, then we sow and know we will receive a harvest.