How do you trust God during difficult times? If God is good, then why do we go through bad times? It’s easy to trust God when everything is going great, but when things aren’t going well, we can struggle to keep our faith.
Remember Who God Is
Trusting God in tough times isn’t so hard when we remember who He is. Reading the Bible to understand His character helps us have hope. God’s Word reminds us that He is a rescuer who never leaves us nor forsakes us, whose mercy and love endure forever, and who hears the cries of His people. God is always faithful; He is a good Father who only has good in store for His children. If we doubt this, trusting God in hard times will be difficult.
King David wrote many of the Psalms and often cried out to God to help him as he was being chased by people who wanted to kill him. After telling God about the enemies who wanted to take his life, David declared, “But You, O Lord, are a shield for me, my glory and the One who lifts up my head. I cried to the Lord with my voice, and He heard me from His holy hill” (Psalm 3:3-4).
During difficult times, David reminded himself who God was so that he wouldn’t get discouraged.
Understanding Why we go Through Difficulties
It’s natural to try to understand why we are going through a tough time. The truth is, sometimes we suffer because of our own poor choices. We often want to blame someone for our problems, but we must be honest with ourselves and own our part in the situation. Even if our difficulties are partially or wholly our doing, God delights in helping His children recover.
Also remember that our enemy, Satan, loves to pick on people who are faithfully serving God. 2 Kings 6 is a story about the prophet Elisha. He was spoiling the plans of the enemy nation’s army with supernatural wisdom from heaven. God’s people always escaped, unscathed by the enemy. The king of the enemy army found out that Elisha was ruining his plans and demanded Elisha’s death.
Elisha was obeying God and doing His will, and the enemy wasn’t happy about it. The enemy army came in great force to capture Elisha, but Elisha knew that the army of heaven was greater and stronger, so he didn’t fear; he trusted God.
Sometimes we go through difficult things because we’ve made poor decisions. But sometimes, we have don’t nothing wrong; we have served God faithfully, chosen to honor Him with our lives, and consistently done what is right – and so we become a target of the enemy. If this is the case, we must choose to “watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong” no matter what (1 Corinthians 16:13).
Pray with Faith and Expectation
Some people believe that God allows bad things to happen to them because He wants to teach them something. But Jesus said in John 10:10, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” God doesn’t make bad things to happen to us to teach us a lesson. If we believe this, then it’s impossible to ask Him for help out of a situation that we believe He caused!
On the contrary, Romans teaches, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” This verse doesn’t say that everything that happens to us is good; it says that when we love God and we’re devoted to His purposes, God will cause everything that happens to us to work together for good.
An example of this is Joseph. Although Joseph may have been a little arrogant, he certainly didn’t deserve to be sold by his own brothers into slavery and then end up in prison, accused of something he didn’t do. But while Joseph was a slave and while he was in prison, he kept the right attitude and honored God through it all.
After Joseph passed these character tests, God promoted him to second in command in Egypt. Joseph was able to save the country and his own people (the Hebrews) from famine. Joseph forgave his brothers and said to them, “do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life” (Genesis 45:5).
What Joseph’s jealous brothers meant for evil, God used for the good to save many lives. We too can expect God to use the difficulties in our lives to bring about good for us and others as well as glory to God.
Don’t Go it Alone
Recently, my family was struggling financially since my husband lost his job. Our faith was really tested and stretched in many ways. We believe that God is good, kind and faithful, yet we seemed to be encountering one trial after another. We tried to remain hopeful, but the burden became too much for us.
This is where the church community stepped in. We have been investing in this body of believers for 3 years, tithing, praying, serving, and ministering, so rather than struggling alone, we reached out to our church family in humility, and they were more than happy to come alongside us and help us.
It’s not always easy to ask for help; in fact, it’s very humbling. In Acts 20:35 Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Don’t allow pride to keep you from reaching out for assistance. When we invite others to help us, they enjoy the blessings of giving. That’s what the Body of Christ is for; we are instructed to “rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15). And Galatians 6:10 reminds us, “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.”
God is for us
We must remember what the writer of Romans taught: “If God is for us, who can be against us?” If we can truly grasp the meaning of this scripture, it will encourage us to not give up during hard times. When we realize that God is on our side, working on our behalf, we can learn how to trust God completely.
In Jeremiah 29:11, God reminds His people, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Let this truth encourage us to trust God not only in the good times but also in the trying times.
~ by Jennell Houts
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