When Life Is Hard

I’m sure you’ve been there before. If not, you will be at some point. I’m talking about that day in your life when the bad news comes, life turns upside-down, your loved one dies, or you simply are blind-sided by someone’s decision.

How do you handle those rough winds in your sea? What do you do to avoid drowning? How do you keep breathing when it seems you can barely stay afloat? Where do you turn for help?

A few nights ago these simple thoughts came to mind as I was praying for wisdom in helping a friend who is struggling with her own “hard.” I hope these will be a blessing and encouragement to you today.

  1. Run to the Rock. We are safe in Jesus Christ. All is grace. He is always working for our good and for His glory. He is in total control of every circumstance in our lives. He longs to shelter us, provide for us, and shower His grace on us. If God be for us, who can be against us? Run to Him as hard as you can. He never disappoints.  “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, for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy. Let me dwell in your tent forever! Let me take refuge under the shelter of your wings! Selah” (Psalm 61:2-4)
  2. Reflect on His Truth. It is so easy to let our minds run wild when life seems crazy and out of control. Yet, we are to take captive our thoughts and think on things that are true. We DO have control of our minds. God’s Spirit graciously helps us discern truth. Dig into His Word to remind your heart of His goodness. Post Scripture verses around your home to counsel your heart with His truth. Listen to music that points your heart to the Gospel. “Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.” (Proverbs 30:5)
  3. Remember His Faithfulness. I love to read back through my journals from past years in my life. I’m always reminded that God was faithful then and He will be faithful now. Remind your heart of the ways God has answered prayers in your life. Remember how He has worked things in your life out for good. . .things that seemed impossible! Read His Word and begin to count all the ways He was faithful to His chosen people and continues to be faithful to those who are in Christ Jesus. “The Lord is faithful in all his words and kind in all his works.” (Psalm 145:13) “On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.” (Psalm 145:5)
  4. Rest in His promises. Look to the promises of God in Scripture to bring rest to your weary soul and questioning heart. He offers us a peace that passes understanding. He commands us to “Come to me, all who labor and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30) As the psalmist reminds us in Psalm 62:7 – “On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God.”
  5. Reach out for help. First, seek help from the Lord. “for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.” (Psalm 63:7) But also reach out to others . . . especially the body of Christ. Be transparent about your struggles with your body of believers. Allow others to pray for you, to bear your burdens, to love on you, to show grace to you, and encourage your weary heart. So often, the temptation is to hide our problems behind a smiling face and act like everything is ok. The truth is that we need each other and God uses others in our lives to give us more of Himself. “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” (Galatians 6:2, 9-10) “But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.” (I Corinthians 12:24b-26)

I love these words from Paul Tripp: “If you are God’s child, you are not alone. Glorious grace has connected you to the One whose power and love don’t shift with the times. Grace has connected you and me to the One who is the ultimate dwelling place, the ultimate place to which we can run. This means that I am never left just to my own resources. I am never left to figure out and deal with life on my own. As God’s child, I must never see myself as poor or forsaken. I must never buy into the lie that I have no recourse or hope. I must never think that my life is ruled by my difficulty. I must never give way to despondency or despair. Grace has opened the door of hope and refuge to me by connecting me to One who is eternal and who rules all the circumstances and relationships that would cause me to feel alone.”

Life on this earth was never promised to be an easy road. We face troubles and tribulations of every kind. Things happen that shake us up and strike deep fear within our hearts. Yet, our kind and loving God never leaves us or forsakes us. He loves us with an everlasting love that is incomprehensible. He walks with us through the fire and keeps us steady when the storms rage. He is our Rock. He is our Refuge. He is our Strength. He is our Rest. You can trust Him. I promise.

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