Be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded. (2 Chronicles 15:7)
It’s easy to lose faith when it seems as though everything is going wrong in our lives.
When nothing seems to go as planned and we just can’t seem to get a break from God. We wonder if He even hears our cries or if He even cares.
That’s usually when the enemy will creep in and start to play tricks with our minds.
There’s an old saying. “An idle mind is the devil’s playground”. This is why it’s so important to stay in the word even when you don’t feel like God loves you. Even when you question whether or not you should even love Him.
I remember a time in my life when I wondered if I was being silly or naive for still believing in God after everything He was allowing me to go through. I mean, how could He love me and let me suffer the way I was suffering?
It seemed like as soon as I overcame one hurdle, I was dealing with another. It seemed like the only way out was to give up. Giving up would have definitely been the easy way out, but that wasn’t even an option for me.
I knew there was a purpose for my pain, a greater calling on my life, and I was determined to find it. I could have stayed down, thrown in the towel, and threw myself one huge pity party, but I didn’t.
I used my sorrows as fuel to draw closer to God because in my heart I knew that I had taken my eyes off Him and maybe just maybe all of this was to get me to come back to Him. If so, it worked!
Here are 5 Ways I have managed to stay encouraged during the hard times in my life…
1. I Prayed
( 1 John 5:14 ) “This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us”.
I prayed morning, noon, and night, breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
I didn’t pray for God to take my burdens away. I prayed for strength to endure them.
I prayed for God to reveal whatever it was that He wanted me to gain from all my suffering.
I knew He would take care of me. I was sure of this. The more I prayed, the less I worried.
2. I Learned to be Grateful
( Romans 8:28 ) “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose”.
One of the things that happened during this dark season of my life is that I had been in a car accident. The car was totaled, but I walked away without a scratch on me.
All I could think about was how much of an inconvenience this accident was. The timing was horrible. I had just started a new job the week prior so missing a day of work was not an option.
But then I was reminded that there are a lot of people who don’t walk away from car accidents. I was blessed. Not cursed!
3. I Talked to Other Christians
( Proverbs 27:17 ) “Iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens another”.
When you’re struggling with your Faith, getting advice from non-believers is the last thing you should do.
It’s like the blind leading the blind. How can they encourage you if they lack faith themselves?
Get involved in a church function, a ministry, or seek Christian counseling. Sometimes it’s easier to vent to a stranger from fear of being judged by your loved ones.
4. I Remembered When…
( Ephesians 2:8 ) “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God”.
I thought back to other times when I was going through a season of darkness and I asked myself: How did I make it out of that storm without losing my mind? ”
…and then I answered my own question… FAITH! I needed faith to come out and I used it, whether I had realized it or not.
Whenever you’re going through hard times, just remember God’s grace is sufficient.
5. I Stayed Equipped With the Word
( 2 Timothy 3:16 ) “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness”.
One of my favorite scriptures that helped me through this tough season was Hebrews 11:6 – “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”
There’s a scripture for just about everything we go through.
From avoiding temptation, dealing with adultery, even choosing our friends.
Some scriptures you may not be familiar with as much as others. All you have to do is type in one keyword or phrase and Voila! Help is on the way.
They even have versions which are easier to understand than traditional versions.