Introduction

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Devotional Stories for Tough Times

Introduction

But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.

~Psalm 59:16

“Nobody knows the troubles I’ve seen” is the first line in an old-time spiritual. How many times in your life have these words been in your heart? Probably more times than you can even remember. Tough times are a part of our life and spring up when we least expect them. They come in all sizes, shapes, and degrees of magnitude. But, regardless of how they occur, the problems in our life stop us in our tracks. Our lives are put on hold while we find ways to deal with our pain, humiliation, fear, grief, and even anger.

The Bible is filled with passages where God’s people cry out for Him to hear their pain and ease their suffering. Psalm 116:1-4 is one such prayer to God. It reads, “I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live. The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came upon me; I was overcome by trouble and sorrow. Then I called on the name of the Lord: ‘O Lord, save me!’”

As children of God, we want to know that God is real in tough times. Some fortunate people have a strong commitment to their faith, and tough times are just a bump in the road. But most of us struggle with our spiritual walk during the painful moments. We have a hard time holding onto the lifeline of the Holy Spirit. Like a drowning person, we look for anything or anybody who can help us through our pain. Chicken Soup for the Soul: Devotional Stories for Tough Times was written to be your source of comfort during your trials.

This book is filled with stories of men, women, and children who have been dealt a huge blow in their life. Some have lost a beloved child or loved one and can barely find the energy to make it through another day. Others are dealing with a financial hardship or job loss that threatens their family’s fragile stability. And for many others, life has just thrown them a curveball, and they are merely trying to remain upright.

Yet, this book isn’t only about tough times; it is also about hope. Psalm 116 continues (verses 5-7): “The Lord is gracious and righteous, our God is full of compassion. The Lord protects the simplehearted; when I was in great need, he saved me. Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.” This verse assures us of an amazing, wonderful, and eternal truth: God is with us, even during our struggles.

There are several ways in which you can read Chicken Soup for the Soul: Devotional Stories for Tough Times:

Start at the beginning! Spend a little time with God each day by starting at the beginning of the book and reading a story each day for inspiration.

Pray for guidance. Holding the book closed, pray for God to guide you to just the right devotional that you need to read that day. Randomly open the book and see where the Spirit leads!

Select a topic. If you’re dealing with a particular problem, scroll through the table of contents and turn to the appropriate chapter. Select a devotional that applies to your situation.

It is our wish that Chicken Soup for the Soul: Devotional Stories for Tough Times will inspire you and offer more proof that God walks with you during your moments of trial. We know that God’s ever loving and guiding presence exists in each of these stories. Trust the wise scriptures, words, and prayers in this book, but more importantly, trust in Him. Let the God of Mercy gather you close, shielding you in His protective arms as you walk through tough times together.

~Susan and Karen

More stories from our partners