Words of Encouragement For Tough Times:

Winston Churchill

Quiz: Match the Quote with the Author

Answers at the end of the article.


1.  “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet.  Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

2.  “If you’re going through Hell, keep going.”

3.  “Restlessness and discontent are the first necessities of progress.”

4.  “That’s why I don’t think there’s any comparison between the present hard times and the coming good times.”


A. Helen Keller

B. The Apostle Paul

C.  Winston Churchill

D. Thomas Edison

As America experiences foreclosures galore, coupled with extended periods of high unemployment and ever increasing bankruptcies, our individual and corporate challenge is this: “How do you handle tough times?” The above quiz is only a snippet of how, throughout history, trials have catapulted people into greatness.

How about you?

When life knocks you down, do you wallow in self pity or do you use the experience as a motivator for trying something new? The choice is yours, but before you choose, I challenge you to consider that your life might be on the verge of something fabulous.  Why do I say this?  Because many of us tend to coast through life until we get out props knocked out from under us. “After all”, we think, “things are going well. Why change?

It was adversity, not times of peace and calm, that propelled the following people to greatness:

  • Helen Keller, born both deaf and blind, become a world-famous speaker and author. She is remembered as an advocate for people with disabilities amid numerous other causes. Did you find it ironic in the above quote that Helen Keller, who had no sight, said that vision was cleared only through the experience of trial and suffering? This was a woman with far more vision than many of us who have perfect eyesight.
  • Winston Churchill’s leadership and inspiration to the world would never have been possible if he hadn’t been thrust into the role of Prime Minister of England at the onset of a World War.
  • The Apostle Paul was flogged five times, beaten by Roman rods three times, pummeled with rocks, shipwrecked four times and betrayed by those he considered his brothers. (2 Corinthians 11: 24-26). Yet he was arguably the most successful missionary ever. Despite imprisonment (or perhaps because of it), he wrote some of his most inspirational letters.

Career Coach Dan Miller puts it this way:

“Only when you are unhappy or discontented will you want to solve the problem, improve the situation and change it for the better. So when you are discontent or unhappy, don’t just look for an escape or a pill to make you feel better. Say to yourself, ‘This discontentment is opening the door for me to:

  • Find a better paying job
  • Start my own home-based business
  • Engage in a new hobby
  • Get involved in a worthy cause
  • Work on a solution to this relationship
  • Improve my golf score
  • Invent a cure for Alzheimer’s
  • Write a great book
  • Help eliminate poverty.’”

So again I ask: “How are you dealing with your tough times?”

It may just be that some doors in your life need to be closed so some new ones can be opened. Set your mind on “creativity” mode and walk through those open doors. You may be on the verge of greatness.

For more encouraging words check out these Encouraging Bible Verses.

Answers: 1 – A,  2 – C, 3 – D, 4 – B. Photo by cstm-mstc

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  1. Terry OBrien

    Hi Joe,
    I think we might be almost neighbors, give or take 50 miles. I live in OFallon, MO. Is there another team besides the Cards?

    I enjoy the articles you wright for Christian PF.

    I was in the traning dept of Home Depot for a number of years. In January ’09 Depot discontinued the dept. I have been unemployed since. I am 66 and draw Social Security. I do have an income .

    When Obama spoke at the funerals of the soldiers at Fort Hood God began to speak to me. Obana presented the Presidential challenge coin to each family. I designed a challenge coin of encouragement. It is the design God gave to me. I have passed out many of them to folks who are in rough circustances, health, financial or just down. I think I have been the one blessed more then those I have given one to. I believe we as christians are compelled to encourage one another. We then help folks grow in the Lord and learn to depend on Him.

    I just wanted to share this with you. Your article just struck a cord with me today and I thank you for writting it.
    In His Service,

  2. Joe Plemon

    Yes we are neighbors, although it is more like 100 miles (I live south of Carbondale, IL). And no…there is no other team than the Cards. I have been following them since 1957.

    Your story aptly depicts the essence of this post. Through your own struggles, you have become a source of encouragement to others (including me). Isn’t it amazing how God sees fit to bless the ones (yourself in this case) who are actively seeking to encourage others?

    Thank you for your kind words. And thank you for being a source of encouragement. I am confident that God has been using you far more than you even realize.

    Now…let’s plan to get together for a Cards game next summer!

  3. Claire Vorster

    Thanks for a great article Joe. You got it! Sometimes the toughest day is just before dawn.

    Have a good week,

  4. Andrew Jacobson

    Hi Joe, great post. I came across this video yesterday online, thought it was great and I think you might enjoy it in light of what you have presented here. Keep up the good work! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0yetHqWODp0

  5. Joe Plemon

    I appreciate the encouragement. Thanks.

    Wow. That video said volumes in only a little over a minute. Thanks for sharing it.