Trusting God’s Promises When Times Are Tough


Pastor Lawson Perdue

“If you make it through the famine, you’ll make it to the feast.”

From 1988 to the year 2001, my wife Barbara and I along with a group of believers pioneered a new church in Eastern Colorado. We lived in the small town of Kit Carson. Shortly after we were there, I began growing and feeding cattle to supplement our income.

One year in the early 1990’s, we were facing extreme drought. While I was praying about buying cattle that spring, I was awakened in the night. I heard the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking, “Go read your Bible verses for the day.” I have been reading 3-5 chapters of the Bible daily six days a week for over 35 years. I get through the Bible once a year that way. I read much more than this, but I do this as a habit.

My daily reading that day included Isaiah 30:23, “Then shall He give the rain of thy seed, that thou shalt sow the ground withal; and bread of the increase of the earth, and it shall be fat and plenteous: in that day shall thy cattle feed in large pastures.” As I was reading that verse, the last part of it stood out. It was as if I was being led by the Holy Spirit to buy all the cattle that I could leverage my money to buy.

I had a note at a bank in another town with a line of credit for $100,000. So, I bought all the cattle I could until I had the note full. I was in full swing in February and soon had the entire line of credit used up. However, by April, it still had not rained, and cattle were going down and corn was going up. It looked as if I had made a major mistake.

The banker that I had the note with was not too happy. I had lost all of the equity that it had taken me several years to build. The bank was hinting about calling my note. So, I decided to go to the local bank in my town and ask if they would take the risk and loan me the money.

When I went to the new banker, I remember saying, “I believe that it’s going to rain; I believe that cattle are going to go up; I believe that corn is going to go down, and I believe that I will make more money than I ever made in my life.” The short story is that God gave me favor with the new banker, and he loaned me the money to pay off the other bank.

It is so important that we believe the promises of God when times seem to be tough. During that time God spoke this word to me, “If you make it through the famine, you’ll make it to the feast.” The Bible has interesting promises about famine. Here are just a few of the promises of God’s Word:

  • Psalm 33:19, “To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.”
  • Psalm 37:19, “They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.”
  • Job 5:22, “At destruction and famine thou shalt laugh: neither shalt thou be afraid of the beasts of the earth.”

To me these promises of God concerning famine lay out a plan concerning how to deal with difficulty. First of all, we must learn how to stay alive in the famine. We must learn how to believe in God even though we are facing trouble. Secondly, we must learn how to be satisfied in the famine. In other words, our happiness doesn’t need to be tied to our circumstances.

Most people are happy when things are going well. What about when things are tough? What about when it doesn’t look like the promises of God are working in our life? Are they still true?

Most recently someone asked me, “How is the church?” I replied to them, “Barbara and I are doing well; we are happy.” Since the COVID pandemic, pastoring has been a little different.

Sometimes we don’t physically see things that we are believing and expecting. But that doesn’t mean God’s Word is not working.

Don’t get me wrong. I am really thankful to God about where we are today in the ministry and what is happening. We currently have about 1000 people a week who show up physically at our Sunday and Wednesday services; and we have about 2000 people who call the church home. But we believe that God will help us move forward in life and ministry. I am thankful to God for this; I remember that it took us a year to get to 40 in attendance, but we always believed that there would be more.

However, I believe one key to succeeding long term in your faith while believing God’s promises is being happy in your relationship with God. Ultimately, I believe that God is much more concerned with our personal relationship with Him, than what we do for Him. A key to success is “being satisfied” in famine.

Peter Daniel, a very successful Australian entrepreneur, once had a sign in his office that said, “You have ten seconds to get happy or get out of my office.” In other words, he didn’t want to waste a lot of time with unhappy people. One of God’s promises actually says, “Happy are the people whose God is the Lord.” When your God is the Lord, you should be happy.

I believe the greatest promise in the Bible is found in I John 2:25, “And this is the promise that He hath promised us, even eternal life.” Eternal life is actually talking about the nature of God that is inherent in the believer when we are born of God. Every believer has the nature of God in them. (See also Romans 8:9-11).

We can be satisfied when Jesus lives in us. Our joy is not dependent on the world around us. If we look for every circumstance around us to be right, we might never ultimately be happy. But I believe that true joy comes from knowing Jesus as our Lord.

  • Isaiah 12:3, “Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.”
  • I John 1:4, “And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.”

Fullness of joy comes from our relationship with God through Jesus Christ. So we can be happy in the face of adverse circumstances.

The third aspect that I want to share about in dealing with famine, adverse circumstances, is laughing at the famine. Joseph of Genesis could laugh at the famine, because he knew what was going to happen. In fact, God gave Pharaoh a dream and Joseph interpreted the dream. Pharaoh made Joseph his prime minister because Joseph not only interpreted the dreams, but he had a plan on how to deal with the coming prosperity and then the famine.

Joseph ended up making Pharaoh the richest man on the planet, because he had a dream and a plan. God showed him what was going to happen before it happened. Joseph prepared for the famine and prospered in the famine and beyond. THROUGH OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD, WE CAN WIN. We have ultimate victory in Christ.

  • II Corinthians 2:14, “Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.”

When we believe God’s promises, He can take what the enemy meant to destroy us with and turn it for our good. We can laugh at the famine. We need to know that God is for us and that all of His promises are for us today.

  • Romans 8:31-32 says, “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also FREELY GIVE US ALL THINGS?”
  • II Corinthians 1:20, “For all the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.”

We need to learn to trust God’s promises when times are tough. There are promises of God in the Bible for every problem we face. One leader of a large church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, did a study and found that when people are praying for something, they are twice as likely to receive what they are believing for if they are standing on a specific scripture that contains a promise for their situation.


Now what happened with my cattle? It finally started raining on May 28th. It rained all summer, the desert blossomed like a rose. Cattle went up and corn went down. I made more money than I had ever made prior to that time. I received exactly what I believed, but I had to trust the promises of God. I made it through the famine and made it to the feast.

The good news is that God is no respecter of persons. What He did for me, He will do for anyone who believes Him. Now it will look different, because everyone has different gifts and abilities. We are all in different places and different seasons. But God is good to all and His tender mercies are over all of His works.

So as one of my good friends said years ago, “Feed your faith and starve your doubts to death!!!”

Explore Faith and Fellowship at Our Christian Church in Colorado Springs, CO

Looking for a supportive community where you can deepen your faith? Join us at our vibrant Christian church in Colorado Springs, CO. Together, we embrace the challenges and joys of life through the guidance of God’s Word. Come be a part of our services and special events to see how faith can transform your life.

Visit us this Sunday—your new church family awaits!

God Bless You! Jesus Loves You!
Pastor Lawson Perdue


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