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Inside: Is life hard right now? Do you need some encouragement? Here are a few tips from 5 Christian bloggers on getting through the struggles of life!
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When I was a little girl, I wish someone would have told me what to expect when I was an adult.
Spending my days watching Disney Princesses with the movies ending in a drive off into the sunset really set me up to be disappointed once I was an adult.
The truth is, life as an adult is hard.
Let me reframe this: life as a human being is hard. And getting through the struggles of life is not for the faint of heart!
Can I get an “Amen?”
I guess I must have missed the Bible verses where it told me life would be hard, or maybe I chose to overlook them.
Can I be honest and tell you that it’s taken me forty years to stop headbutting God when trials and struggles come up and instead start to dig in with scrawny faith muscles.
I still don’t like tough seasons, but I’m realizing that the sooner I accept and turn to God in trust, rather than trying to throw a tantrum, the better it goes for me.
One of the biggest draws to my blog, Unmasking the Mess, has been for people searching about getting through the struggles of life.
It might be how to trust God when life is so hard, how to keep the faith, and maybe how to make it through when everything feels like it’s working against you.
If you’re here, friend because life is hard, I want to first give you a virtual hug and tell you that God has a plan for you; there is a purpose in this hard thing, and He will use it to grow you.
If we look back in God’s Word, we can find numerous examples of people getting through the struggles of life. We can even do a Google search and find people outside the Bible who have encountered difficult times and see how they made it through.
(1 Peter 1:7, NLT).
7 These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.
I’ve only listed a few from each, but continue your search for encouragement and inspiration! You will find others getting through the struggles of life!
A few tips I’m trying to focus on when tough seasons come are:
As part of a summer collaboration, I’m excited to have some of my Christian blogger friends give you their advice and wisdom from what they’ve learned when going through hard times!
After a miscarriage and years of infertility, God blessed us with a son through adoption.
Eventually, my husband expressed a desire to have another child, but I was content with our life. We decided to wait until some of our son’s medical issues resolved, yet God had other plans.
One month later, I stared in shock at a positive pregnancy test. We quickly shared the news of our newest blessing, but, within a week, symptoms of severe morning sickness developed.
Within two weeks, I was experiencing days without holding any food down and, gradually, days without even liquids. I felt angry.
After years with no viable pregnancy, hadn’t I already been through enough? I mean, I wasn’t even trying to get pregnant! Barely able to take care of myself, let alone my son, I found myself lonely and depressed.
God had used many hard times in my life for my sanctification, but this one he used to teach me about his sovereignty.
Romans 11:36 says, “For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.” All things are for his glory and my good. “My good” may be learning how to suffer well, grow in Christlikeness, or trust that he was in control.
“If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not (emphasis added), be is known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” (Daniel 3:17-18).
Even if he does not deliver you from this trial in the way you hope, know that God is good, he loves you, and he has a plan. No matter the outcome, he is worthy to worship and serve.
Right now my family is walking through a valley – a valley I heard of but never imagined would be my own. This year our 2-year-old daughter was diagnosed with a form of childhood cancer, leukemia. Her thinning hair, her pain, her many medications, her days in the hospital instead of at the playground hurt my mommy’s heart so badly, and we have two years of treatment to go. Countless times I’ve cried out in the spirit of Job, “Why, Lord?”
I’ve seen Him answer time and time again through little daily mercies and the power of His Word. Before this, I had little difficulty in my life, but Jesus in His faithfulness prepared us for this by deepening our knowledge of Scripture, and thus Himself.
This knowledge of Him translates to soul-lifting prayer. What’s getting us through is down-on-your-knees prayer, and praying like breathing. And what do I specifically pray? When all my mind wants to do is shut down and cry, I instead look to the Rock higher than I and praise Him.
“…from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the Rock that is higher than I…” Psalm 61:2
I pray God’s attributes with thankfulness, affirming His goodness again and again. In recalling His compassion at the cross and throughout the Bible, I remind myself that He in His holiness and glory is out to redeem. That this world is not our home, but He is – eternity is – and He will make everything beautiful in its time, even this. Meditating on His character also teaches me that I can grow in His image not in spite of but because of this trial.
Lastly, we not only should walk with the Lord in prayer alone but also with others. When I cannot pray, or am struggling to pray, I pour out my heart to close sisters in Christ who have become prayer partners. I know they will lift my family and me in prayer when we are especially vulnerable, weak, or in need.
Friend, whatever you’re going through, seek to prayerfully know and worship Him. He will meet you there.
Treasuring Christ Above All Else
Disappointment. Discouragement. Depression. How do you keep going once you’re faced with these kinds of trials?
I think sometimes people get the wrong idea of what Christianity is like. Thanks to popular false promises, some believe if they give their life to Jesus, they’ll be able to live their best life now of health, wealth, and prosperity.
The thing is, Jesus does promise us the best life – but we have to endure hardships on this side of heaven in the meantime (see John 16:33).
In the meantime, we’re warned that we will come face to face with trouble, pain, suffering, persecution, broken relationships – and the list goes on. But we’re instructed to not dwell on these hardships, but rather to anchor our hope in Christ and treasure him above all else.
“So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” (Colossians 3:1-4, CSB)
I love how this passage gives us instruction to not dwell on these hardships that feel eternal (but in comparison are so very temporary) but to set our minds on Christ – who is our life!
While Christian counseling, therapy, and medical professionals certainly have an important role in managing our minds while going through hard seasons, I believe true lasting freedom is found in drawing near to God.
When he is our life, when we treasure him above all else, we have a purpose and the power to walk more closely with him and to set our minds on what truly matters most.
Each day my husband and I stared at the million broken pieces of our life, trying to figure out how they could possibly go back together again. The uncertainty of our future weighed heavy, making each day a struggle to get through.
Where would we go? Would a job offer come in time? Could our marriage be rebuilt? We didn’t have answers to these questions and each day our hope dwindled.
God was capable. We knew He could restore, provide, and work everything for our good. But we needed help living in light of these truths during this difficult season.
So, I grabbed a small stack of notecards I had written Bible verses on earlier that year. Each one with a title like “when you feel alone” or “when life is full of problems,” followed by a promise or an encouragement from Scripture.
I literally covered our house in God’s truth. No room, cupboard, window, or door was left bare. Every room now declared, “This house and those who dwell here belong to God! We put our trust in God’s word.”
And you know what? It worked. The peace of God slowly settled within my spirit as I continued reading His promises day after day.
When you’re going through a hard time, I encourage you to write down God’s truths, read them regularly, and declare them over your life.If you need a place to start, download the list of the Bible verses I taped up around my house here. Or get my Hope for Wait prayer journal for a 36-day guide through praying God’s promises during hard seasons.
To read more posts about getting through the struggles of life:
6 Bible Verses For Strength When Life Is Hard
3 Obstacles Why Following God Is So Hard
You’ll Get Through This: Hope and Help for Your Turbulent TimesStronger: How Hard Times Reveal God’s Greatest PowerPrayers for Hard Times: Reflections, Meditations and Inspirations of Hope and ComfortShaken: Discovering Your True Identity in the Midst of Life’s Storms