Each of us needs to trust God in difficult times and circumstances. We believe that God is faithful to guide us through the difficult times in our life. We don’t have a magic formula in this article and God may lead you to do more or to do less. However, I will offer some steps or spiritual strategies to help us begin trusting God in difficult times.
But, no pressure here. God is a God of grace and He loves us more than we can understand. Look at these as loving principles of seeking God in times when problems seem to overwhelm us.
The primary focus for trusting God in difficult times is His love for us and what He has already done for us by sending His son, Jesus Christ, to pay for all of our sins. A life that is built on a relationship with Him is one that enables us to give Him our deepest problems and trust Him in our greatest points of need.
God is not a puzzle to be solved nor is there a magic formula to be had in the pages of scripture. It’s much better than that. It’s about a relationship with the living God, creator, and sustainer of all life!
Let’s take some time to look at a few specific things that we can do to help us trust God in difficult times, This is not a legalistic checklist to be checked off, but rather it’s about a relationship with God.
1- Trusting God In Difficult Times – Make Sure of A Proper Relationship With God
In order for us to trust God in difficult times, we must make sure we have given our lives to Him, consistently be in prayer for our situation, and nourish our relationship with God. We need to set our minds on the fact that He loves His children and will not let us down even if we don’t understand the circumstances in which we find ourselves.
We should make sure that we have given our lives to God, and trust Jesus as our Savior. bottom line – make sure that you turned to God, ask Him to forgive you of your sins, and trust in Jesus and His death, burial, and resurrection thereby becoming a Christian.
It’s unfortunate that this primary relationship is one thing that people can overlook in difficult circumstances. When we are hurting, we simply want our circumstances to change. Therefore, we might easily bypass the entry point to having our prayers answered – that being a true relationship with God.
If you haven’t first established a relationship with Jesus Christ, then He wants you to take that step very seriously. Everything hinges on you first having a proper relationship with Jesus Christ. It’s not that He is uncaring for those who haven’t placed their trust in Him, but it is the starting point for spiritual and meaningful communication with God.
“The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1
2 -Trusting God In Difficult Times – Pray with The Mindset of How Much God Loves Us
When we’re feeling overwhelmed by difficult circumstances, it’s important to spend time in prayer and meditation reflecting on how much God loves us. We need to remember that no matter what we’re going through, God is always with us and He will never leave us. We can trust that Jesus is right by our side, living in us and walking in us through every trial.
Embracing His love doesn’t mean that all of the pain will go away. Even Jesus, God’s only Son, experience tremendous trials but spent a great amount of time meditating on the love of His Father.
So, continue to ask God to work out a solution or give you peace about the troubling circumstance that you face. However, while doing so, be sure to embrace the fact that, as a believer, as His child – YOU ARE LOVED by Him. He is hurt when we are hurting, yet he knows and understands the big picture and has a plan for us.
This focus on a proper mindset about how much God loves us can’t be overstated.
3 – Trusting God In Difficult Times – Focus On God’s Truth Rather Than Our Emotions
First of all, we know the pain is real, and the hard circumstances are real. Whatever level of trouble or tragedy you are experiencing is not to be dismissed and can be so devastating. So, we aren’t denying the fact of the pain.
However, we must be careful not to let our emotions totally dictate how we respond during difficult times. Yes, pain causes emotion. There is nothing wrong with that. But it’s important that we focus on the truth of God’s word, which will give us a more accurate perspective during trying times.
The truth is – that our emotions can’t be trusted. Many times our emotions will say that due to our circumstances, we will never be happy or have peace again – especially during a time of great pain or loss. Don’t believe that.
I recently lost my mother. We traveled a long and hard road with her as Alzheimer’s slowly and methodically took her life away. Of course, it was hurtful for me, but so much more so for my dad as I watched him lose his constant companion of over 6 decades.
When we lose loved ones people tend to say, “They are in a better place,” or “They are suffering no more.” People are well-meaning with those statements. However, sometimes it provides little comfort to someone who is dealing with such a great amount of grief.
Someone in my family tried to encourage my dad with the “better place” comment. Dad’s response was, “I know that is true, but I don’t feel like getting up and dancing.“
There was a lot of wisdom in what my 84-year-old dad said. As one who had a strong faith in the Lord, Dad knew Mom was in paradise with Jesus and that he would see her again one day.
However, he also knew that his grief was real and painful, but that he didn’t intend on showing some kind of fake joy or happiness. God never asked us to fake how we feel. Displaying faith in God doesn’t mean denying your real emotions that will undoubtedly come. It does mean that we should not ONLY rely on all of our emotions because sometimes they are contrary to what God says.
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1
I have seen people through the years who I felt wouldn’t even let themselves grieve properly. They thought that showing deep grief might demonstrate that they didn’t have a strong enough faith to praise God in all circumstances. That is very sad.
It’s certainly not wrong to have grief and emotional pain in difficult circumstances. The loss of a loved one or the breakup of a family brings enormous emotional pain.
However, when our emotions tell us that we can never have joy, happiness, or peace ever again, those are the types of emotions God wants us to turn from as much as possible.
I recognize that it’s hard to do that in our grief.
It might feel like we can never be happy again. But, the truth of God’s word can eventually demonstrate that those emotions weren’t true.
When you realize that all or a part of a particular emotion you are having is not from God, you can stand against that emotion and choose to call it untrue even if your emotions are screaming out the opposite.
When you are in the middle of grief or some other kind of intense emotional pain, you may not be able to see the possibility of peace, joy, or happiness ever coming your way again. When those thoughts occur, know that, although the pain is real, there is hope for the future.
You can still choose to believe and trust God through your circumstance even if your emotions are screaming that the circumstance is wrong and unfair. This is where the fight of faith can be really tough. In these times we trust that God is there not because we see Him, but because He is true to His word.
Trusting God in all circumstances and being happy in all circumstances are two vastly different things.
Was I happy that my mom had an incredibly terrible disease that ultimately took her life? Absolutely not. Could I thank God for giving me a great mom for all of those years? Yes. Could I praise Him for her life? Yes. But, that didn’t mean that the emotional pain was removed.
Much of the time our emotions don’t tell us the truth about what’s going on around us or how we should respond. This is especially true during difficult times when it feels like everything is falling apart.
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. Jeremiah 17:7
4 – Trusting God In Difficult Times – Know That God Is Not Causing Your Pain
We need to be very careful in understanding that God does allow bad things to happen to us. However, we need to be careful in thinking that He causes evil to happen to His children. He allows pain and suffering – sometimes through no fault of our own, sometimes because of the choices that we make, and sometimes simply because of disease, death, and hardships brought on as a result of the fall of man.
However, God is not the cause of pain, distress, disease, death, and hurtful times in the lives of His children.
Remember there is a god (little g) of this world who consistently causes pain, heartache, and distress. God does not cause the troubles that come into our life.
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8
However, God’s response to your pain is love and care. He is not the source of hurt, fear, or unhappiness. We are going to experience trouble, pain, and sometimes fear because of being a part of a fallen, sinful world. It started back in the Garden of Eden.
So, don’t think that God is targeting you with hardships. Will He allow hardships to come your way? Yes, He will. Everyone will have struggles and heartaches to some extent.
We might wonder why God doesn’t stop bad things from happening. That is a normal question that even the strongest of Christians will ask. And, don’t feel guilty if that is a question you have. Just know, that for those who will put their trust in Him, good can come from bad circumstances because of the power of our God.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
Hope For Those Who Hurt
You may hear people say things like “The Bible says that God doesn’t give us more than we can handle.”
That might sound ok, but it’s not true. That is a misinterpretation of scripture in 1st Corinthians 10 about temptation. God never tells anyone that they are capable of handling every single thing that comes into their life alone- without his power working in and through us. God knows that we are not capable of navigating incredibly hard circumstances in the best way if we try to do so without Him.
Maybe we could instead encourage each other with “God does not allow you to go through anything His Holy Spirit cannot help you get through.”
He is trustworthy. He is faithful even when we do not understand.
As hard as it is to trust God even while going through difficult things sometimes, we can do so because He has promised that He does love us and will take care of us faithfully.
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34
The very hardest of times will be compounded if we take on a greater load of anxiety that is much too heavy to bear.
He says that we can take comfort, take refuge in Him. Once again, this is regardless of the way that we might feel. Through the problems, our goal is to set our minds on Him and our relationship with Jesus. Remember He will not leave us.
But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. Psalm 5:11
5 – Trusting God In Difficult Times – Have A Constant Awareness of His Presence
We should have a constant awareness of God’s presence as we live day by day, minute by minute. We don’t have to go into a corner and bow our heads in formal prayer. Sure, it’s great to have time to get alone with God and pray every day.
However, you can begin making efforts to have a constant awareness of His presence in our lives throughout even the mundane aspects of our daily lives. If we are children of God, then we have the Holy Spirit within us. We have open access to God always – when we are working, living our daily lives, driving our cars, enjoying our friends, etc., we can continue an open dialogue with God.
As I have taught before, have your daily times alone with God in prayer and in His word. Just do one more thing – Just don’t hang up the phone! Keep the communication open with God all through the day. Do you think He will not love for you to do that? Yes, He would! You can converse with God all day. Don’t make prayers such a big ritual that you have to get so geared up to do them. We don’t have to rub some kind of Christian magic lamp to get God’s attention! He is there.
“So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” Hebrews 4:16
Make it – make HIM – a part of your daily existence. He wants that so badly! Ask Him to begin to make that happen for you! Have a dialogue with the creator of the universe as you go about your day!
6 – Trusting God In Difficult Times – Focus On The Word of God Found In Scripture
God has given us the resources to help us get through the hard times. One way He does this is by the scripture passages that we have available to us when we need encouragement or guidance on how to handle difficult situations.
Bible reading is important for anyone at any time in their lives. There are many Bible passages for trusting God in difficult times. It’s very important to rely on the scriptures in those difficult times. The word of God is filled with promises and instructions that can help us. The books of the Bible are filled with accounts of real people just like you who had very troubling times.
As you may well know, people who are featured in the scriptures didn’t always handle their difficulties correctly, but they give us so many examples of how they got through incredible trials and difficulties.
As committed to our Lord as the Apostle, Paul, was, he was honest in describing the trials and troubles he had gone through as a believer. He acknowledges being under such a great deal of pressure that he apparently was not even sure he would live through it.
“ We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself.” II Corinthians 1:8
Obviously one of the most famous books in the bible about hardship is the Book of Job. In this book, we find that Job was a man who loved God and served him. In spite of this, he lost all his children, his health, and his material possessions. However, in the end, God blessed him even more than he had been before he endured the hard times.
The Psalms and Proverbs are also filled with great words of encouragement for those who want to trust God in difficult times. Psalm 91 was a great psalm for me when I first encountered a severe bout of depression. I love these two verses especially.
The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name.
When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. Psalm 91:14-15
Psalm 121 is also a very good one for times of distress.
Also, here is one of the most famous passages found in the book of Proverbs;
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” Proverbs 3:5-6
You can also take advantage of good sermons and bible studies online that teach about trusting God in difficult times. When you have time take advantage of resources and teaching that can encourage you with the word of God.
7 – Trusting God In Difficult Times – Don’t Walk The Road Alone
When we go through hard times there is a tendency to withdraw and to be alone. Some people may even feel ashamed about what they are going through.
I am very susceptible to this. I can pull into my own shell and not share it with anyone. However, I know that I need the love, encouragement, and prayers of our close Christian friends and relatives.
Depending on the circumstances, you may want to limit the number of people who know about what you are going through for the sake of privacy. However, it’s good to have as many as you can praying for you if it’s a situation in which you are comfortable letting many people know.
I’ve found that often when I share a problem or difficulty with others, I will hear stories from them about how they also have endured similar problems and came through it.
- Share your problems with others so they can pray for you.
- Share your problems with others so they can give you words of encouragement.
- Share the hard times with your close friends and family because they may have gone through a similar situation and can give you guidance from their experience.
- Share your difficult times with others because sometimes you just need the physical presence of someone who loves you.
- Share your difficult time with others because God has formed us to be a part of groups or families who care for us. He never meant for us to be alone.
8 – Trusting God In Difficult Times – Be Thankful To God For Blessings You’ve Had
Some may think that this one is a bit odd, but let’s clarify. I don’t think a person must thank God for each bad circumstance. However, you can still make sure that you remain thankful to God through those circumstances having confidence that He is in control.
You may, however, come to the point where God works in a way where you are truly thankful for the hard circumstance because you saw that it ultimately brought about something good in your life.
However, if that never happens you can still be thankful for all that He has provided. It may be your life in general, blessings of the past, a roof over your head, or food in your stomach. There is always something for which you can be thankful.
Here is another word from the person who penned most of the New Testament, the Apostle, Paul. He said this as a part of his letter to the church in Thessalonica:
Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. I Thessalonians 5: 17-18
Even when you’re hurt. Even when you are extremely sad or troubled, if you can have a thankful heart about life, it can be very helpful. God is a loving God and not demanding something from you for which He doesn’t provide His grace and power.
Going back to my illustration about losing my mom a few months ago – I didn’t have a God who was standing over me with a stick demanding me to be thankful for a horrible disease that caused the death of my mom.
However, I did find it easy to thank Him that my mom’s suffering was over. I knew she was healed, and healthy, and that she was now 100% joyful. I believed she was in a place of true paradise. God could have let her live on for quite a bit longer in the terrible state she was in, but I’m thankful that He didn’t.
And, we always have the following for which to be thankful…
9 – Trusting God In Difficult Times – Focus On The Cross and the Empty Tomb
If you have trusted in Jesus as your savior, there are things that you can hold onto in any situation. You can be thankful for, praise God for, and take joy in the cross and the empty tomb.
Know that your God has defeated His enemy, Satan, and that cannot be undone. Jesus willingly lay down his life for us so that we might be forgiven of our sins and made right with Him.
The power of the resurrection is not only for the past but the source of that power is available to us right now. When we are so troubled, so in despair, or depressed, we can always lift up praise to God for the cross and the resurrection.
10 – Trusting God In Difficult Times – Be Kind To Yourself – He Is.
One of the easiest things to do when you have found yourself in a difficult season of life is to put guilt and blame upon yourself which makes the situation even more unbearable.
Is it possible that you have taken some actions that have brought on some consequences from which you are now suffering? Yes. Sometimes that may be the case. Or, this time of trouble in your life may not be related to anything you have done.
Either way, just know that God has an immense love for His children and although He never wants us to be arrogant or full of pride, He wants us to LOVE OURSELVES – not because of our goodness, but because of the righteousness of Christ that is given to us when we accepted His sacrifice.
It’s okay if you think you need to make changes in your life in some way or another. We all do in some way. In spite of that, give yourself permission to love yourself. As a Christian, if you can’t love yourself, then you have put a higher standard on yourself than God has.
Know that you are not perfect and that the God of the universe took the greatest act of love in this world so that you could have a relationship with him forever.
Regardless of the source of our pain or hardship, a follower of Jesus Christ has the most extravagant and incredible love ever known. It’s our prayer here at LivingPraying.com that you will love yourself and experience peace from your heavenly Father in good times AND in times of tremendous pain or trouble.
God bless you as you seek to know God more.
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Brian is a Christian Blogger and website developer and has served over 35 years as a Pastor of Worship and various Associate Pastor roles in several churches in the state of Georgia. He earned his Education degree from North Georgia State University and attended New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife live in southern Hall County, GA.
God bless brother Brian for great message.
I like it
i really blessed with ten reasons of trust God
Thanks so much!