It’s easy to trust God when everything is going great, but it’s an entirely different story trusting God in the difficult times.
Am I right?
How do we know God is working, even in those spiritually dark times? How do we know He’s working in all circumstances in our life?
Up until a number of years ago, I dealt with the trials in my life by pulling the proverbial covers over my head. I did everything I could to ignore them.
The problem is, it never worked.
While I pretended to disregard the mess, it was all I could think about.
I became preoccupied with my difficulties and felt paralyzed by my circumstances.
I felt hopeless and alone; certain God was nowhere to be found.
How about you?
But it was in those dark, difficult times in my life that I learned God hadn’t left me at all; that He’d been with me all along.
It was in the pain of a chronic illness — that bulldozed its way into my life, wrecking everything in its path — where I learned that it truly is possible to have peace and pain at the very same time!
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But how do we get there?
How do we stop suffocating from all the challenges in our life? How do we get up every morning, with the strength to keep going? And why should we trust God in the difficult times?
WHY SHOULD WE TRUST GOD IN THE DIFFICULT TIMES
Before we can begin trusting God in the tough times, we first need to understand some basic truths — things that are hard to remember when everything around us is falling apart.
With the fall of Adam and Eve in the garden, our world is now full of sin.
It doesn’t mean God has forgotten us, nor does it mean His love for us has changed. In fact, it couldn’t be further from the truth.
“Because of this, the world in which we live today is not the world as God intended it to be. It is, in a very real sense, a defective and abnormal world.”Focus on the Family
God loves us unconditionally. There’s nothing we do that will lessen it, nor is there anything we can do to increase it.
His love is there, nonetheless.
And since God loves us unconditionally, He will never let anything destroy us, nor does He want us to stay in the pit of that pain.
It doesn’t mean that we’ll go through life without trials and difficulties. It means that He’s with us the whole time, using the brokenness to help us grow spiritually.
God will never waste our tough times. He’ll use them to bring us closer to Him — to teach us how to rely fully on Him.
But we must be willing to say, “Teach me, Lord. Show me what I can learn in this situation.”
What trusting God in the Difficult times isn’t
“Trusting God is not about ignoring your feelings or reality. It is not pretending that everything is OK when it isn’t. Trusting God is living a life of belief in and obedience to God even when it’s difficult.”Brittany Yesudasan, Cru
Let’s get this out of the way.
Trusting God in dark times isn’t about walking around with a smile plastered on your face, pretending nothing is wrong.
It’s not about acting like everything in your world is all shiny and rainbows.
Trusting God in the difficult times is about walking through life with Him, and being honest about your feelings.
It’s about inviting Him into your challenges and knowing that even if something doesn’t turn out the way you want, God is still good and will always have your best interest at heart.
Trusting God in the dark times is learning how to say, not my will but yours be done.
The beautiful truth about God’s unconditional love for us is that no matter how broken or out of control life feels, it’s never too late to invite Him in.
How does satan make our lives more difficult
He’s crafty and wily — and he’s so good at what he does.
What is his goal you ask >>> to separate us from God.
He knows our fears and insecurities and will use them to make us believe we’re alone. He tells us that if God loved us, He’d never allow us to go through dark times in our life.
And it’s a flat-out lie.
The devil wants us to worry about what’s next, so we can’t enjoy what’s happening now.
When we know Satan is going to use every trick in the book to pull us away from God, it actually gives us all the power!
We already know he’s going to do it, so we can more easily recognize when he’s working.
And we can stop him in his tracks!
We can get into warrior pose when those lies and insecurities fill our heads and yell, “Not today Satan! You’re no match for my God!” (Seriously, I do this all the time!)
You, my friend, have the power of God within you through the Holy Spirit. You just haven’t learned how to recognize the truth from the lies.
But with practice and a close relationship with God, you soon will.
Keeping faith in God during Hard times
In order to trust God in all circumstances, we must understand that we live in a fallen world; one that is so painfully broken.
And because of that, bad things will happen.
God never promised easy.
“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]” John 16:33 AMPC
Hard times and troubles don’t mean God has left us or that He doesn’t care. It simply means we need to lean into Him for strength and wisdom to get us through.
“First, we must never forget that we live in a fallen world. If things go wrong and trials beset us, this isn’t a reflection on the power and genuineness of God’s love. Nor does it necessarily imply that we have sinned against Him or displeased Him. It simply means that the world isn’t what it’s supposed to be.”Focus on the Family
I know sometimes it feels like it, but feelings aren’t facts.
Walking through dark times means we have to choose to trust God until our heart catches up with our faith.
And sometimes, in fact, most of the time, it’ll require us to intentionally choose trust every day. (And sometimes multiple times a day!)
How do you trust God in difficult times
So how do we trust God in the most difficult times? How, when everything is falling apart around us, can we know that God has us?
We have to build those spiritual reflexes.
In other words, just like anything else in life that we don’t know how to do, we practice, practice, practice…and we practice again.
And the way to do that is by building a relationship with God because there’s a difference between knowing God and knowing about God.
So how do you get to know God?
And it’s not as hard as you might think.
Just like when you meet someone new, you start hanging out with Him, having conversations, and listening to what He has to say.
You spend time getting to know the character of God, and the promises He’s made you.
So let’s break down a couple of easy ways to forge a relationship with God and learn how to keep your faith in Him when everything around you seems to be falling apart.
Praying in the difficult times
“Never stop praying.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17
Start by praying.
Spending time communicating with God doesn’t have to be rehearsed or elaborate. It simply means having a conversation with Him.
You can start by praying…
Trusting God in the difficult times begins when we have simple conversations with Him and include Him in everything we do throughout the day.
Believe it or not, even saying just a quick, “Hello God,” opens up the line of communication with Him.
And then when you get more comfortable, you can ask Him to…
- Give you guidance to navigate the dark times.
- Reveal what He’s teaching you in this struggle.
- Pour out His wisdom on you and help you see this difficulty through His eyes.
- Help you see the blessings He’s given you, even in these messy times.
Another great prayer comes from Ephesians 6:11-18 as Paul talks about suiting up with God’s armor every day.
“Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.”
“Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.“
In order to stand against Satan and your challenges every day, start by talking with God.
Remember, we’re building those spiritual reflexes by conditioning ourselves to communicate with Him so that when the dark times come (because it’s not a matter of if, but when), you’ll feel better equipped to handle them.
And the closer you grow to God, the easier it will become.
“Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.” Ephesians 3:17 NLT
Look for Blessings in the Dark Times
“Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 NLT
God doesn’t expect us to thank Him FOR the struggles we go through, but rather He wants us to thank Him IN the difficult times.
When you give thanks to God in the hard times, it helps you look for the blessings in the midst of them.
Thankfulness takes the focus off your challenges, by putting the focus on the blessings He’s providing along the way.
You begin to see that although your struggles are hard, there’s still a lot to be thankful for.
You see, when you start thanking Him for all the amazing blessings He’s given you, your perspective begins to change.
And soon you’ll discover that you’re trusting God, even in the difficult times.
The more time you spend thanking Him rather than always asking of Him, the more your troubles begin to pale in comparison to the many blessings He gives you each and every day.
Surrendering to God in the Difficult Times
This was (and sometimes still is) the hardest part for me.
After all, it’s when things are completely out of control that we hold on tighter, hoping to better manage our difficulties.
It’s scary to think of handing our trials over to someone else, but who best to handle them than The One who created us; The One who knows us better than we know ourselves?
Society tells us how important it is to have control over everything in our life and offers countless books and articles on how we can best attain that.
And where do they tell us to begin?
But that’s not at all what God wants for us..
We’re His responsibility and when the hard times come, He will guide us through — all we need to do is surrender to Him and His will.
Oh, this isn’t easy, my friend. It’s not a one-and-done.
It’ll require you to surrender it daily (if not hourly) to God.
Again, we’re building those spiritual reflexes by practicing and choosing to trust God in difficult times.
As you continue to lean into God and surrender control, you’ll soon discover you aren’t worrying so much. You’ll find that you’re breathing easier and beginning to enjoy life again.
It’s when you’ll discover that it truly is possible to experience peace in the midst of the hardest times in your life.
I promise my friend, by relinquishing control, you’ll find a freedom you’ve never experienced before. And let me tell you, it’s absolutely glorious!
Trusting God in the Hard Times
My friend, God never promised smooth sailing.
We have to let go of the notion that when we’re following God, everything should be easy because it simply isn’t true.
However, He has promised that He’ll never leave us. He’ll never let anything destroy us.
All He wants is for us to trust Him, and live our life with Him by our side.
When we learn to keep faith in God in the difficult times, it shows others His grace and mercy — and since our ultimate calling is to make Him known and bring Him glory, we can use our dark times, to point others to Him.
The great thing about hard times is that God doesn’t want us to sit in them. He’ll use these troubled times to teach us something powerful, to bring us out the other side with strength and peace.
Joy is always found on the other side of brokenness, but I know it can feel impossible to reach that joy.
All I’m asking of you today is to just take that first step. Look up and say hello to God, tell Him how you’re feeling.
When you earnestly seek Him, He will always show up for you.
It takes practice to build those spiritual reflexes.
It means that every time you begin to worry or feel lost, you acknowledge that God is still with you.
TRUSTING GOD IN THE TOUGH TIMES WRAP UP
So for a quick recap, to get you on the path of trusting God in the difficult times…
- Spend time suiting up with His Mighty Armor first thing in the morning.
- Practice talking to Him throughout your day.
- Thank Him for all He has and continues to bless you with.
- Surrender your fears and worries to Him, and be willing to learn something in your trials.
Remember, friend, God isn’t up there wringing His hands, trying to figure out how it’s going to play out.
He has it all under control.
It won’t take long and those spiritual reflexes will be stronger. You’ll learn to go to Him automatically.
And you’ll soon realize that He’s the One you went to first. He’s The One you learned to put your complete trust in.
Before you know it, you’ll learn how to trust God in difficult times. You’ll learn the power of trusting God in all circumstances.
And most importantly, you’ll learn to find peace right in the middle of your mess.
Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by the blog. I’m so grateful to have you here.
Be sure to sign up for my FREE Trusting God Scripture Challenge to help you walk through your journey and learn how to trust God in all circumstances.
Until next time…
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Learning how to put our complete trust in God isn’t easy. We say we trust God, but what we really mean is that we trust Him for what we want, when we want it. At Footprints of Inspiration we uncover who you are and why you were created; how to walk in healing through forgiveness; and how to go before the Lord with confidence. Through this journey, you’ll discover that it truly is possible to experience peace, even in the hardest times in your life.
Tammy Rotzoll is the founder and owner of Footprints of Inspiration and podcast host at A Faithful God Podcast (which can be found on your favorite podcast player). She lives in Virginia with her husband and together they’re learning how to navigate their fun, new adventure as empty nesters.
Join Tammy and the FOI community and discover the freedom that comes from saying, “Heck yeah, God! I’m all in!”