I don’t know how others can have it all together all the time. I wish I could always say that. Sometimes it may appear as others don’t have any struggles or hard times in life…EVER, and I am just like… (see gif) 🙂
As the years go by, I realize how hard life can get.
Not too long ago, I remember that life felt much easier, or I would make it out to be that way. Truly, I had this clouded outlook on life which was naïve and unrealistic.
I like how my brother puts it: “Lita (his nickname for me), you are now waking up to life.”
He woke up earlier than I did, but of course, he is a tad older and has had many more life experiences than I have had – I’ve played it very safe and sheltered because who doesn’t like to be comfortable?! (Not anymore though!)
Waking up to the reality of life can leave us kind of heartbroken. We may have expected good, but good doesn’t always come and the bad can hurt deeply.
Can you relate to feeling desperate and hopeless?
…to feeling desperate for change, for a relationship, for love, for healing, for a career, for positive things to come your way?
…to feeling defeated?
I can and it isn’t easy to admit it.
We want our situations to be different.
We have this inner turmoil going on because life gets hard and sometimes, everything is going wrong at the same time. And why is that?
Why does everything go wrong at the same time?
One of my missionary friend’s messaged me a beautiful sermon he preached which had to do with enduring many trials at once. He mentioned that God is Sovereign and has a purpose for every trial we undergo.
God puts His most valuable gems into the fiery furnace to be refined. He must see something beautiful and much potential in us to take the time to refine us.
If everything was going wonderful or neutral all the time, how would we develop our relationship with God? Our compassion and empathy for others? How much would our characters suffer if we don’t go through the hard times in life?
It is through these hard times that we learn more about ourselves, about God, and about the needs of others.
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So, what can we do if we are struggling to remain positive?
Getting through the hard times in life and feeling positive during struggles
The only way that I can bounce back and keep myself focused is to look toward Christ and His promises for me.
I literally have to read in the Bible all those times when He helped others and got them out of a situation, or things turned out for good to REMIND MYSELF THAT GOD IS STILL WITH ME DESPITE GOING THROUGH THE HARD TIMES OF MY LIFE.
Aside from reading the Bible and internalizing His promises and faithfulness, I journal. The journal helps me release what I feel and grasp situations. My journal entries are prayers to God.
In that journal, I also write a scripture that stood out to me from my daily bible study, basically following the S.O.A.P bible study method.
Using this bible study method, I began to write scriptures in my journal. It helps me with memorizing scripture and applying it to my life – I see it as God speaking to me directly with the verse that stood out.
Listening to sermons on YouTube have helped me greatly, especially while I am getting ready for bed. I always pray before selecting a sermon; it has never failed to speak to me and calm my mind right before bed.
It is also important for me to do something new and out of my routine. Whether it be starting a new project, going out to a new place to eat, going out with friends or to the park, helping someone, driving around a different area, playing a game or reading a new book, change in the routine is very beneficial for me to get through hard times.
When we respond correctly to the trials in life, we have the opportunity to see God in action. Let’s look at an example…
Can you recall someone in the Bible that was feeling desperate, hopeless, and defeated?
Elijah, the prophet, comes to mind.
A great man of God who witnessed countless miracles from God and to whom God spoke directly, but is threatened by Jezebel, becomes afraid, and runs away.
As I read this part of Elijah’s story in the Bible (1 Kings 19), I felt like I was in Elijah and all my current struggles were Jezebel.
Sometimes I feel that my struggles are greater than God and will overpower me. Or that they will turn my life into a failure, and I might as well be as good as dead (which is exactly what Jezebel wanted to do to Elijah!). Talk about feeling defeated, desperate and hopeless!
But let’s look at God, the One who deserves all of our attention. God provided him warm food and water (1 Kings 19:5, 6). He continued to instruct Elijah on his next steps (1 Kings 19:7). God appeared to him and simply asked him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” (1 Kings 19:9).
Elijah shared how he felt (1 Kings 19:10, 14) – just like we do when we pray to God and journal.
God’s plans are greater than our hard times in life
And God answered him in a gentle whisper (1 Kings 19:12).
If you keep reading on God’s plan for Elijah, you see that God had a wonderful plan of salvation for Elijah. God not only saved Elijah from Jezebel, but He also saved him for eternal life (2 Kings 2:11). Elijah’s struggle was blinding him from seeing God as his Protector, Provider, and Savior.
Notice how God is gentle and loving despite how we sometimes picture Him when we are going through hard times. We may easily turn bitter towards God – let’s be cautious about falling into this trap.
God didn’t forget about Elijah (and many others such as Noah, Daniel, Lazarus, Paul, etc.) during their hard times. Now, do you think that the Lord will forget about you or that He has forgotten you?
God has NOT forgotten you!
Two bible verses to give you encouragement and hope for the hard times in your life:
But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me.” “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.
For this is what the Lord Almighty says: “After the Glorious One has sent me against the nations that have plundered you—for whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye—
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