Do you ever find it incredibly challenging to let go of your problems and surrender them entirely to God? I can totally relate to that struggle, especially when it involves my loved ones. Their pain becomes my pain, and it’s hard to detach myself from it. Isn’t it strange how we can trust God with our own souls but struggle to trust Him with our families? Whether it’s an ailing mother or a suffering friend, the weight of their anguish can be overwhelming and break our hearts afresh every single day. In the midst of all this turmoil, you might be wondering how to stay strong when times get really tough. Trust me, you’re not alone in this journey. I’m right there with you.
So, let’s explore some ways together to navigate these challenging moments with unwavering strength and faith.
A critical factor that makes it hard to trust God with our loved ones is the sense of vulnerability it brings, I think.
When we love someone wholeheartedly, we often feel helpless. We worry about their well-being, safety, and happiness – this is so my situation now. This vulnerability can create fear of losing them or living through something bad happening to them.
Then, there is the waiting to see what God does.
We pray. We ask. But we also have to see what final decision God makes.
Will He answer the prayer the way I want, or will He say, “Not now.” Or worse, will He say “No.”
For instance, we may pray for the safety and well-being of our loved ones, but if we do not immediately see the desired outcomes, it can challenge our trust in Him.
Do you know what I mean?
We may question if God truly hears us, genuinely cares about our concerns, or is even capable of helping us in the first place. I know that sounds horrible, but those seeds of doubt come to everyone at one time or another. The problem is these doubts can undermine our trust in Him.
That’s not good.
What if we didn’t get what we wanted in the past?
I dare not say God ever lets us down because He doesn’t.
But, past experiences of pain or disappointment can also play a role in our challenge to trust God with those we hold dear.
Like when I prayed and prayed for my neighbor to be healed of cancer only to have God heal her on the other side of heaven.
I was so sad. Heartbroken. My faith was bruised.
If we have been hurt in the past, it is natural to become more cautious and put up our guards to protect our loved ones and protect our own expectations. This distrust can interfere with our ability to believe that God will take care of them adequately.
I’m going through a very difficult time in my life.
Right now, I’m in my 50s. That’s more than middle age, Honey!
Not old; not young.
In all those years I’ve been alive, I can say I’ve endured a lot of grief and heartache.
As a result, I deal with so much trauma from living through all that loss in my life.
You see, before I hit my 30s, I buried most of my family.
My dad, my two brothers, and my aunts. My uncle. My young cousin.
Each was gone suddenly and honestly far too soon, in my opinion.
All those losses left me “affected.”
It left an excruciating bruise on my heart.
It was a lot.
The recurrent shock of one death after another cultivated two dubious by-products in my adult life. Let me tell you about them.
I wonder if you will be able to relate.
REFLECT: If you are a journaler, write down two past experiences that left a “mark” on your life, too.
The first by-product of all that death is it bolstered my faith in the Lord.
No doubt, the traumas cultivated a prayer life and spiritual strength I could not have gotten any other way. Nope!
Each one – each devastating emotional blow – served to thrust (or maybe flung) me at the feet of Jesus.
I genuinely learned to rely on Him for strength, comfort, and supernatural restoration in the brokenness.
Maybe that’s why I was able to trust Him for my practical day-to-day needs as a young, divorced mother.
Let me say, during those times, people were not very comforting to me.
They tried, but my heart was too broken to “hear” them. I was devastated. Can you relate? Do you know what I mean? It was like one of those bad dreams where you keep falling…falling…and falling. Like the dude in the movie “Get Out” as he was plummeting into the sunken place.
That’s how I felt.
Yeah, I needed what only God could supply in those dark seasons.
So, I found that those turbulent, anguished periods of life made me incredibly dependent on the Lord and His Holy Spirit.
In the mornings, I needed Him for the strength to face the day.
In the evenings, I relied on Him to carry me through the literal (and spiritual) darkness so I could face whatever came the next day.
Then, it started all over again the next morning. It was a dubious cycle but a hopeful one – because He was there all along.
Random: Nights are the hardest when you’re grieving.
Anyway, I needed Jesus 24 hours a day. I was “tore up from the floor up!”
If you are going through a very hard time now, please remember you can come out of it so much stronger spiritually, and that is an amazing benefit of the struggle. Secondly, if you’re hurting now, take my experience to heart and trust God for every waking second. Turn nowhere else. He is the only One who can help. Keep going to church. Keep praying and keep seeking Him in your Bible.
All of it was so good for me, though! Here’s why…
It built intimacy with my Savior.
One by-product of the hard times was I learned to rely on Jesus. I learned to thirst for His Words and look for Him to show up in my day.
I also discovered the power of worship and how it empowers us, strengthens us, and brings Jesus into our moments in time.
Worship is WARFARE!
For all this, I thank God for every trial because I now enjoy a deep, personal communion with Him every single solitary day – in good times and bad.
There is your first answer to the question, “How to stay strong when times are hard?” You stay strong by leaning on the Lord. The only High power that exists.
Ask yourself: “Did I get bitter due to my harrowing experience, or did I grow closer to the Lord?”
If you’re going through a rough time now, determine (make the decision) to come out of this trial closer to Him. Write it in your journal now.
Ok. The second answer to the question ‘how to stay strong when times are hard.’
It’s time for me to be even more transparent with you.
Losing so many people in a relatively short lifespan has made me hold on a little too tightly to the few family members who have left.
That’s not healthy. Plus, doing so steals my peace. When I should be enjoying my life, I sit worrying about them.
Here is how it shows up: I can stress about my family so much that it can be literally tormenting.
Say, for example, they are out of my sight; I’ll call or text them to ensure they are okay. Or, if they leave the city, I pray over and over for them and check on them incessantly.
You may think, “But these things are sort of normal and kind of good.”
Sorry, but you’re not necessarily accurate in your summation of my behavior.
Yeah, it sounds like concern, but the problem lies within the motive.
My underlying reason for all this “concern” is fear-based, and God is not in that. Not at all. Fear has torment, and that comes from the enemy of your soul.
There is no fear in love [dread does not exist]. But perfect (complete, full-grown) love drives out fear, because fear involves [the expectation of divine] punishment, so the one who is afraid [of God’s judgment] is not perfected in love [has not grown into a sufficient understanding of God’s love].I John 4:18 AMP
Sure, we all want our loved ones to enjoy long lives in health and prosperity, but not at the expense of our peace. That’s not God’s plan. He’s given you perfect peace!
Recently, the Holy Spirit gently showed me how my desire to hold on to my loved ones transforms itself into worry, fear, and doubt – all of which are direct enemies of faith.
I am still working on this worrying thing. But I’m much better than I was before.
Let me tell you from experience that fear and dread are mentally excruciating – not to mention exhausting! Be clear about this: neither one is God’s will for you and I.
Another reflection prompt: What two things/people do you worry about the most? How can you begin to trust God with them?
Write it down and date it.
My message for someone going through a hard time:
As you know, without faith, we cannot please God or expect to receive anything from Him.
Faith [in Him] is the cornerstone of our relationship and the key to Godly maturity.
We must guard it.
Hide it beyond the struggles of life.
And shield it from our doubts and worries.
We must isolate it from our logic, our past experiences, and the opinions of others.
Our worrying injures my faith and is a total exercise in futility. It accomplishes absolutely nothing. The same goes when YOU worry, too.
My third tip on how to
stay strong when times are hard…
->Trust God instead of worrying, Girl.
As you know, the Lord’s thoughts and plans are so far above ours that they are often incomprehensible to us. He is infinite wisdom.
Maybe that’s why trusting Him with the things we love is grueling.
We can’t figure Him out or know what He will do with them. It’s that mysterious part of God that makes trusting Him so daunting for our human “pea” brains.
We want to “understand” things, don’t we?
I know it’s incredibly challenging to blindly fall backward into the arms of God and trust Him wholeheartedly sometimes. Nevertheless, it’s a discipline we must master if we want to please Him and if we want peace. Amen?
Reflection again: How will you shift from worry to faith when you worry? Read scripture, pray or play faith-building worship music? Go ahead, jot it down!
How to overcome difficult situations in life:
Surrender to God, not to worry.
When we truly trust God, we surrender everything to Him, knowing He has the absolute best intentions for us.
We love Him, and He loves us. Isn’t that wonderful?
So, with this knowledge, we can emotionally and spiritually lean back, knowing that whatever happens, He will get us through it and be there for us the entire time.
Go ahead and give Jesus a spiritual “high 5” right this moment! Yay-yuh!
The Lord can manage our lives so much better than we ever could.
He knows exactly what He’s doing. Besides, we can’t add an inch to our stature and cannot control very much at the end of a matter anyway.
Remembering all this, it’s easier to release life’s cares and learn to trust God with everything – and I mean EVERYTHING.
Regardless of what happens in your life, God’s grace will carry you completely through it.
Think of all you have struggled and survived so far.
All those hard times and trials you’ve been through, and you STILL made it! None of them broke you or destroyed you! This one won’t either.
Why? Because you are a survivor in Jesus’ Name! That’s why! You’re resilient.
You’re going to be OK. Don’t worry.
Finally, if you’re struggling with worry or some other part of your life now, remember that this season will bring you spiritual acumen and strength like nothing else could.
Don’t let it make you fearful, Christian Sister.
You can come through it better than ever if you rely on the Lord Jesus Christ. He’s got you, and He’s got all those people you love.
Need a scripture for the road?
6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
Please Pin and share this with someone who needs this reminder. 🙂
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