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Getting Through Tough Times

Life is going along well and things are running pretty smooth. The days are busy, but overall they are peaceful. And then it hits. Tragedy strikes or something changes and your world is turned upside down. The fiery darts of the enemy have landed and you find yourself asking; Why me Lord, why now? How will I ever get through this?

Once the initial shock of the challenges you now face is over, you desperately seek to fix the problem as quickly as possible on your own. When that doesn’t work and you’re at the end of your rope, only then do you go to the Lord and ask; Lord, what do I need to change in my life, what are you wanting to teach me and how quickly can I learn it? I want this to all go away and for my life to go back to normal.

Have you been there? Can you relate? I’m sure you can, we all can. God doesn’t tell us if the trials come to count them all joy, but when they come. Every single one of us goes through trials in our lives. No one is immune to them. Scripture tells us this will happen.

“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.” 1 Peter 4:12–13

Generally, this is also how we handle the trials we face. We desperately try to fix them on our own, and then when that doesn’t work, we finally bring it before the Lord and ask for His help. Hoping that He will do His work as quickly as possible so our lives will go back to those busy, but peaceful days.

In the last post, we talked about Why God Allows Trials and how they can benefit us and our walk with the Lord. Today we’re going to look at how to walk through a trail with the Lord and have peace.

Steps For Getting Through a Trial

Accept Where God Has You

My friend, I have news for you. That struggle that you’re facing, has been carefully designed by your Heavenly Father who wants to use it to teach you to rely on Him, trust Him and grow in Him. Don’t waste a moment of it!

As we face difficulties with our human view, we are often worried and afraid because we don’t know what the future holds. But if we would have a divine view, we could actually have peace during the trial to not only endure it but to learn from it.

A divine view is knowing that the Lord is sovereign. He knows exactly where you are, what you are facing, and already has a plan to get you through. There is a plan and a purpose for the struggles in your life. As it states in the scripture below, the trials that we face produce steadfastness that we may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

James 1:2-4

I really learned this as my brother was suffering through his battle with cancer. During that time, God led me to read the book “Believing God” by Beth Moore. An excellent book by the way. It taught me to truly believe in God‘s promises and to trust Him. So as we walked through those months of not knowing what the future held for him if the Lord would heal him or take him home. I put my faith in God and His perfect plan for my brother’s life. Knowing that if the Lord did call him home, He would also be there to comfort me through the pain and heartache of losing someone so dear to me.

Be in the Word

There is great wisdom in the Word of God, that so many times we do not tap into when we need it most. Spend time in the Word. Discover His promises to you and His wisdom for your current situation.

Make a plan to spend time reading your Bible every day,even if it’s only for 10 or 15 minutes a day. God will speak to you through His Word to comfort you, give you strength to carry on, and a direction to walk in. You will be amazed at how what you read will be exactly what you need for that day. God is faithful to give us just what we need when we need it.

If you don’t know where to begin reading, pray and ask the Father to show you. Some ideas would be to choose a book of the Bible to go through, to do a topical study that relates to your current circumstances, or to find promises from God that you want to pray over your life.

Be in Prayer

Seek the Lord in prayer and ask Him to help you to increase your faith, to guide you as you make decisions, and to have the power to persevere. Don’t be afraid to pour out your heart to Him. The good, the bad, and the ugly. He already knows what’s in your heart and what you are thinking. If you’re mad at Him and don’t understand, then talk to Him about how you feel. He can handle it and no, lightning will not strike you.

Pray for His will to be done and not your own. We do not have His infinite wisdom nor can we see what He sees. His ways are so much better than ours! Set your plans and ideas for how to resolve the issue aside and pray for your Father in Heaven to carry out His plan.

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, says the Lord.”

Isaiah 55:8

If you don’t already, this is a great time to start writing in a journal. Sometimes we make a mountain out of a molehill. Writing out our prayers can help us to focus on the heart of the matter. It can also quiet our hearts and minds so that we can listen to the Lord and what His direction is for us. You can also write down how God has worked in the situation so far and answered prayer.

Do Your Part

Be mindful of what God wants you to do during this trial, knowing that it may be for you to just quietly wait as He works behind the scenes. This can be so difficult for us as women because we want to fix the problem. This is what we do all day, every day in our family’s lives, we fix problems. But we need to remember that God is faithful. He is working behind the scenes and as I said, He is so much better at it than we are. So sometimes, your part will be to trust Him and take comfort in the fact that the mighty God you serve has got this and He is working to resolve it.

Or it may be that He is using this to help you to step out of your comfort zone and to make changes in your life. Be looking to see what doors He has opened for you or what new opportunities He has brought your way. For more on this, check out the “God’s Open Doors” post.

This is a bit of a balancing act because we don’t want to take control and try to fix things ourselves, something I am so guilty of. But at the same time, we don’t want to be so afraid to step out in faith that we miss the opportunities that God has prepared for us. If an opportunity arises, move slowly towards it without trying to force the outcome. As you are in prayer for God‘s direction, He will be faithful to give it.

“The steps of a man are made firm by the Lord; He delights in his way.”

Psalms 37:23 MEV

Trust Him For The Outcome

Our worry and anxiety during a trial stems from fear of the unknown. There’s no way for us to know how it’s all going to play out or what our life will look like in the end. But as the saying goes, we do not know what the future holds but we do know who holds our future. When we put our trust and faith in God, we can have that peace that surpasses all understanding. We know in our heart that He loves us and truly believe that what is happening in our lives is all a part of His perfect plan.

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with gratitude, make your requests known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will protect your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

The book, “Believing God”, recommends that you wear a ribbon tied around your wrist to remind you of God’s promises. So during the time of my brother’s battle with cancer, I wore a braided cloth bracelet that one of my kids had made for me years before. Seeing it would remind me of God’s promises and that I could trust Him and believe in His Word.

As worry and fear crept in for what my brother was going through and how I would be able to handle it. That ribbon would also remind me to pray, to remember that God was in control, that He loved my brother, and had a plan for his life.

This gave me a peace and a comfort that I really can’t even describe and I saw God work in so many different ways during this time. The Lord worked in my brother’s heart to bring him into a closer walk with Him and to give him comfort. He also worked in me to increase my faith and to trust Him more. God did choose to call my brother home and I now rest in the fact that he is safe and secure in my Savior’s arms.

As we begin to have a divine view of our trial, we can also have peace as we trust in God and His promises to see us through. We can face each day with patient expectations, meaning that we are patient in allowing the Lord to lead us through each day, not worrying about tomorrow and expecting to see His glorious work in our lives. The goal is not to end the trial as quickly as possible but to learn more about our Lord and Savior through it. To allow Him to refine us so we can be more like Him and to help prepare us for how He wants us to serve Him in the future.

“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good;
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!”

Psalms 34:8 NKJV

Faith Lived Out

So the next time a trial hits or if you’re in one now, follow these steps.

  • Check Your View ~ Have a divine view and accept where God has you today. Knowing that where you are and the trouble you are facing is all a part of His plan and He has a purpose behind it.

  • Read Your Bible ~ Spend some time reading scripture every day even if it’s only for 10 minutes. It can be a book of the Bible, a topical study, or searching the scriptures for His promises to pray over.

  • Be In Prayer ~ Seek the Lord in prayer for Him to guide you through His perfect plan. Pour out your heart to Him and ask that He gives you wisdom and discernment and that He increases your faith to trust Him more.

  • Do Your Part ~ Look for opportunities or doors that God may be opening for you but don’t force the outcome. Remember that He may be calling you to patiently wait as He works behind the scenes on your behalf.

  • Learn To Trust ~ Put aside the worry and the fear and put your faith in the loving mighty God that you serve. Remind yourself of the truth that He is faithful, He loves you, and He has a perfect plan for your life to give you hope and a future.

“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace,
who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ,
will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”

1 Peter 5:10

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