Faith in Hard Times

When do we need to exercise the most faith: in hard times or in easy times? The answer is obvious. And in those hard times, whatever they may be, we need to remember that we have a Savior. He is a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. He has walked through the valley of the shadow of death, and He will never leave us or forsake us. He loves us.

During hard times we need to think like Christians. Whether we call it a difficulty, an affliction, a grief, a hard providence, or a trial, we must not attribute hard motives to God. “What? Shall we receive good at the hand of God and shall we not receive evil?” (Job 2:10).  The Bible is full of promises to and for us as God’s people. It is our covenant document. The Bible belongs to us. While the unbeliever stands outside God’s promises,  we are privileged to claim them as our own. They are written down for us so that we can lean on them in hard times.

God uses affliction for our good in many ways. We all can look back on difficulties and thank God for the way He delivered us, how He cared for us, and how much He taught us through them. These things are good to recount to ourselves when we are in  hard places. These things are good for our souls. If we walk through hard times by faith, looking to our Savior in the midst of troubles, He uses these things to strengthen and fatten our souls.

Don’t be fearful. Write down some Bible verses that apply to your situation. Pick a book or a chapter or a psalm and start reading. You will be surprised how many verses speak straight to your need. Don’t look in at your own pitiful resources; that will only discourage you. Don’t look out at your troubles (that is what Peter did when he looked at the waves); that will only distract you and worry you. Look to Christ. Keep your eyes on Him. He began this good work in you, and He will graciously see it to the finish.

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15 thoughts on “Faith in Hard Times

  1. Thank you so much for this. My husband and I, along with our 2 little boys, have had some very difficult and long months. Even now as I write this my husband and his dad are trying to fit a fridge through our back door to replace ours that broke late last night and they are currently taking off our back doors to help fit it through. It really just is amazing how dependent we are on God and these last few months have really challenged who and what we trust. I just now was praying for some word of encouragement and opened up your blog…all I can say is very fitting and thank you so much for the words of encouragement.

  2. My husband and I just recently buried our stillborn twin sons five months ago. Needless to say, I’ve never experienced a harder time in my life and am bold enough to say, at only 24, that it’s probably going to be pretty up there on the list, even as hard times await me still. It’s been a struggle not to attribute hard motives to God. It’s been important for me to keep a journal these days, in hopes of doing just what you said – recounting those moments where I felt the Comforter most, &c. Thanks for this good word!

  3. Kate, I am so sorry for your loss. May God continue to sustain and strengthen you in a way that is beyond our understanding, and may many great joys await you and your husband in the future.

    Anna in NH

  4. Nancy-

    Have you been looking over my shoulder again? This post couldn’t have come at a better time.

    I’ll spare you the details of this most trying season of our lives, but I am experiencing something I’ve never dealt with over my lifetime of following Christ- fear. “Don’t be fearful” and the encouragement to drench myself in Scripture are just what I needed to hear. Thank you.

    Kate- I am so very sorry for your loss. May God bless you with His peace that passes all understanding.

    ~Kendra Fletcher

  5. Kendra,
    Just a thought about fear for you. Maybe it will help.
    One of the ways fear gets a grip on us is when we try to fight it by engaging in conversation with it, when actually the best way to deal with fear is to simply ignore it. It can seem to us that we should fight it by talking ourselves out of it via Scripture passages and prayer. But once you get in a conversation with your fears, even if you are laying out Scriptures to yourself, it can be likened to a fight with a tarbaby. And that in itself is often the goal of the temptation. But ignoring it requires self-discipline and grace (obviously). I liken it to fear pounding on the door, but you don’t have to let it in (1 Peter 3:6). This is all in the context of submission to God. Do not let fear get a foothold by discussing it with yourself. Change the subject. Plan your vacation or your garden or your menu. Pray for your neighbors instead of your fears. Hope that helps.
    Blessings to you,

  6. Nancy-

    Thank you for taking the time to write about fear. Engaging in conversation with fear is exactly what I have been doing- again, how did you know??? 🙂

    I’ll be reminding myself of your words whenever that fear rears its ugly head this week. I seem to be doing better, perking up, and then someone who means well will ask me about the situation and I spiral down into the grip of fear once again. I rehash, meditate, and converse when I should be walking away from the conversation altogether.


  7. I love that the Holy Spirit knows all things. Thank you, Nancy and Kendra for discussing fear. Gee, I wonder how it was that I got on the computer to read your blog and what do I see? The very thing I am struggling with.

    Fear is deep, deeper than we realize. We also have many masks for it. It’s actually great when it’s in front of my face and I’m aware of it. Because then it’s just “oh, okay I’m being fearful over this or that.” However, the worst is when you’re distracted by what you think is a sin or a mistake or a situation or a sickness, you name it, etc. etc. and then by God’s grace someone tells you or He opens your eyes and you see that you are partaking of fear, heavily.

    Tired now, must go but I will be thinking a lot about what you wrote.

  8. “Look to Christ. Keep your eyes on Him. He began this good work in you, and He will graciously see it to the finish.” I just read this again. I will go to sleep thinking of this. Thank you for your spiritual mothering. 🙂

  9. Nancy,
    Thank you for these reassuring words – I have just been listening to your words on “The Pleasant Home” cds, so I can “hear” your voice as I read your words. God is good to give us women, like you, to whom He has given His wisdom. Thank you for blessing us by sharing it with us and encouraging us to pray for it ourselves.

    (((hug))) I’m so sorry. I will pray for your comfort and healing. I have miscarried 6 times – and although I’ve never had to endure burying my little ones – the pain of those losses was very great. My heart aches for you – May the Lord bless and keep you.

  10. “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will NOT FEAR when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, and will NOT BE ANXIOUS in the year of drought, nor will CEASE from yielding fruit.” Jeremiah 17:3

    So not only is the godly man and woman not to fear or be anxious, but they are to continue to yield fruit. In thinking this through I see that it’s not enough to just hunker down and say to myself, “I will not fear, I won’t be anxious, it’s okay, it’s okay.” No! God doesn’t want us to just barely survive, He wants us to NOT CEASE from yielding fruit when “heat comes” or in the “year of drought.”

    Blessed by our God and Father for we are “more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”

  11. Thank you for your words on fear! I often felt bad because Scripture and prayer would only rev up the ‘fear conversation’ in my head, especially as I was trying to fall asleep. You’ve hit the nail on the head – now when fear gets going, I lay out my ‘dream floorplan’ in my head. It feels a lot less holy, but it works like a charm! 🙂

  12. Kate,

    How I ache for your profound grief – we’re too familiar with it (I’ve had 3 miscarriages and 2 stillborn boys). It’s devastating in so many ways, Kate. And it’s a real struggle to experience strong feelings associated with it that are contrary to the truth in Scripture – but trust Him as Job did: “Though He slay me, yet will I hope in Him” (Job 13:15). The Gospel is true, and it is our only (and abundant) hope. The hymn “Be Still My Soul” has been a close companion, and I hope your daily, raw trust in His goodness will help you through the swelling pains, biting stings and swirling questions. May He hearten you as you love your babies and cling to His Word.

  13. It says that Jesus was tempted in all points like we are; do you think that He was tempted to fear? If so, what do you think He was tempted to fear? It just makes me wonder…I remember the time that He turned to Peter and said, “Get thee behind me, Satan.” Maybe He was refusing to have a conversation with fear, then.

    Thanks for the good thoughts.

  14. Yes, Jesus was tested in all points, so He must have been tempted to fear. He prayed in Gethsemane that the cup might pass from him. The only sins He would not have been tempted by were those that would presuppose other sins committed first. For example, He was not tempted to lie to cover up other sins, because He never committed any.

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