Do you doubt God’s presence in your life when walking through a difficult season? The truth about life here on earth is that there will always be challenges and storms to weather as you journey through life. And it is no surprise that Jesus himself spoke these words in John 16:33
“In this world, you will have trials and tribulations, but fear not I have overcome the world.”
Your presence in the world as a child of God does not make you immune to challenges, suffering and seasons of difficulty. Jesus himself had his own share of suffering when he was here on earth. Being the son of God did not make him immune to pain and suffering. He had to endure the pain and shame because he could see the future that was ahead.
A few years ago, a family member got a cancer diagnosis and had to go through rigorous chemotherapy treatment. In her words – “At first, there were those thoughts that spoke out loud – this is the end. There was also a lot of fear and what ifs. I also had questions of why I had to go through all this, even though I knew that God was with me. So much was going on in my mind, and I had to fight those thoughts that were trying to make me feel hopeless.” She is a Christian and believer. And this takes us to a question many still ask today. Why do bad things happen to good people?
3 Biblical Examples of People Who Went Through Difficult Seasons
Hannah – Barren and Bullied
In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly. And she made a vow, saying, “Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head – 1 Samuel 1:10-11
Nothing had prepared Hannah for the challenges and pain she would face and endure when she got married. From struggling to conceive and being taunted by her husband’s other wife. Peninnah, the other wife, knew her challenge but kept on provoking her with her words. Any woman who has battled with infertility will tell you how much pain they endure and how often they must deal with negative comments from others. Hannah had to live through that difficult season of her life.
Job – Tragic and Sudden Losses
One day when Job’s sons and daughters were feasting at the oldest brother’s house, a messenger arrived at Job’s home with this news: “Your oxen were plowing, with the donkeys feeding beside them, when the Sabeans raided us. They stole all the animals and killed all the farmhands. I am the only one who escaped to tell you.”
While he was still speaking, another messenger arrived with this news: “The fire of God has fallen from heaven and burned up your sheep and all the shepherds. I am the only one who escaped to tell you.”
While he was still speaking, a third messenger arrived with this news: “Three bands of Chaldean raiders have stolen your camels and killed your servants. I am the only one who escaped to tell you.”
While he was still speaking, another messenger arrived with this news: “Your sons and daughters were feasting in their oldest brother’s home. Suddenly, a powerful wind swept in from the wilderness and hit the house on all sides. The house collapsed, and all your children are dead. I am the only one who escaped to tell you. – Job 1:13-19
Imagine losing everything in a single day. Job did not only lose material possessions, but also lost all his children. Remember that we are talking about adult children here. He was not only stripped of his wealth and possessions in these series of tragic losses, his future and life was left hanging on a cliff. How does a man endure and live through a devastating loss?
Elijah – Depressed and Suicidal
He sat down under a solitary broom tree and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life, for I am no better than my ancestors who have already died.” – 1 Kings 19:4
It is funny how that even after great accomplishments, depression can still show up and many are left battling with suicidal thoughts. A famous prophet who had just taken out 850 prophets of Baal in a showdown on Mount Carmel returns feeling depressed and even asks God to take his life.
Queen Jezebel’s threat to kill him left him discouraged and fearing for his own life. His response was to flee and isolate himself as he battled with thoughts of either living or dying. How quickly can one move easily from the mountaintop to the valley in times of difficulty?
Standing Firm in Difficult Times
Can you now imagine how Abraham’s wife, Sarah must have felt as she waited endlessly to conceive and carry her own child? Or the pain that engulfed the heart of the widow of Nain as she walked that lonely path to bury her only son.
Perhaps you have even met or know someone who has had their own fair share of difficult seasons and pain. Some are in very turbulent marriages or in the process of a very bitter divorce. Others are battling a disease to stay alive or are in a huge financial mess.
You may even be walking through a difficult season in your life right now. The pain is intense, and you have no one to run to or talk to. Will you keep your eyes on God in this season? God wants you to know that he is right by your side and will never leave you alone.
Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. – Isaiah 41:10
Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you. – Deuteronomy 31:8
God tells us this in his word “Anyone who believes in Him will never be put to shame” – Romans 10:11
It is good to note that difficult seasons often lead to great discouragement, but you must always find ways to fight those moments when it comes. So, how can you stand firm in difficult times and seasons in your life.
3 Ways to Stand Firm in Faith During Difficulty
1. Trust that God is in Control
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock – Isaiah 26:3-4
God is in control even in the storm. And he is present with you in the raging fire. He tells us in his word – “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned, the flames will not set you ablaze.” – Isaiah 43:2
When you learn to trust God through every challenge and difficult season, he will keep your heart in perfect peace. Trust him with everything you are going through in your life right now. Let him walk you through the pain, loss, sickness and financial trials. Remember the three Hebrew boys Shedrach, Meshach and Abednego, they came out of the fire unharmed.
2. Remain in God’s Word
So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you remain in my word, you are really my disciples. You will also know the truth, and the truth will set you free. – John 8:31-32
God’s word is a light and lamp. It floods our path with light and guides us along the way. Freedom, healing, deliverance, security, peace, salvation and faith can be found in God’s word.
When going through a difficult season, do not neglect the word of God. The bible teaches us that the word of God is living and active and has the power to transform our lives. As you abide in his word, hope will be restored to your broken places and dry places in your life will be watered.
Here are 3 quick tips to help you remain in the word of God.
- Write out scriptures in your journal.
- Speak God’s word out aloud to yourself.
- Listen to scriptures using an audio bible.
3. Do Not Give Up
Weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. – Psalm 30:5b
Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all. – Psalm 34:19
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. – Galatians 6:9
The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace. – Exodus 14:14
God is not through with you yet. Irrespective of the challenges and crisis in your life right now, know that God still has so much he wants to do in and through your life.
Walk closely with God in this difficult season. As you walk with him, you will experience him in ways you have never known. He is a comforter and deliverer. He will fight your battles and give you peace. Do not give up now.
Need some help to stand firm? Let’s say a quick prayer.
Father, I pray for my friend going through a difficult season right now. I ask that you strengthen her with grace and comfort her with your love. May she know and experience you in new ways in this season. Open her eyes to see hope and let your words come alive in her spirit. Help her to stand firm in faith and never give up. Amen!