(This post is being rerun since Monday’s post had some spacing/sizing issues when received by blog subscribers.)
5 Tips For Loving God When Life Is Hard
Don’t ask “why me”, ask “why not me”
Maybe you’ve found yourself asking “why me” when life feels hard. Me too. When we feel crushed under the weight of our problems, we can’t help but think life is unfair, and maybe God is even unfair since He’s allowing such adversity in our life. But John 16:33 says, “ I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” When I read this verse recently, I was drawn back to the word “all”. We could assume Jesus meant “all this”, to refer to “all this instruction I’ve told you”. Or we could interpret it to mean, He told us ALL that we would have troubles, which we do.
But at times we might still wonder why others aren’t taxed with the same troubles we are, and life doesn’t seem fair. At all. But the fact that we ALL have difficult circumstances, doesn’t that actually make life fair? You see, God doesn’t pick favorites, and it wouldn’t be fair for some people to have trouble and others have none.So actually, shouldn’t we consider “why not me?” instead? When we are struggling, it helps to remember God is always with us. All of us, and we all get an equal share of His love and devotion as we take one day at a time in His strength.
Count your blessings.
I mentioned in today’s Proverbs 31 Devotion, I Still Love You Lord, that a personal circumstance in my life has made life difficult recently. Sometimes the hurt seems too deep to handle and my fears threaten to paralyze me and steal my hope. But recently I started keeping up with daily little blessings God was giving me, and it helps to boost my spirits throughout each day.
For example, I flew out to an event in Ohio last weekend and was hesitant to go with a heavy heart. I was running late to the airport and felt a little panicked, but the traffic was unusually light, then the flight was delayed 30 minutes, so I could relax. I got a parking spot right in front of the elevator in the airport parking deck (never happens!). Multiple friends and family members texted me with encouragement and kind words which lifted my spirits and I felt so blessed with all the people in mylife. Nobody sat me beside me on the plane so I had lots of room to spread out. Just a few little blessings, but ones I that brought joy and peace to my heart, knowing God was looking over me that day. I could have easily overlooked them, but a blessed heart is a happy heart. When we count our blessings in the face of hardship, we might soon realize the blessings far outweigh our troubles.
Don’t let your fears overtake you.
My name is Tracie, and I am a worrier. I can’t help it. It’s a problem. I try not to, but I do. I love the Lord and trust Him, but my mind still gets lost in fears from time to time. When I can’t control a situation, I tend to think of all the worst case scenarios that could happen, and then my fears start growing like a thick vine strangling the life out of a fencepost. Psalm 23:4 says, “Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.” Such a sweet verse to tuck into our hearts when we are feeling afraid of the unknown. The truth is … the “unknown” is probably not near as scary as we think it might be.
Commit to be positive, even when everything seems negative.
It takes as much energy to be negative as it does to be positive, so why not put our energy into something that will bring joy into our life instead of discouragement and pessimism? Oh friend, this is one tip I need to put into practice into my own life right now. Recently, I’ve spent a lot of time being negative and obsessing over hurt and fears, and I’m ready to start enjoying life and being happy again. What about you? Just typing these words actually brings a smile to my face. God has such a sense of humor.
Memorize verses that bring comfort and hope.
There are so many verses to seep comfort and hope into our hearts during hard times that I couldn’t begin to write them all down for you. So I encourage you, if you are facing a difficult situation right now, to ask God to lead you to verses that you can tuck into your heart. But I will tell you my favorite two, and they may already be your favorites as well:
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Romans 8:28 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.
I can’t change my circumstances, and God may not change them right away either. But what I can do is stop obsessing over what I can’t change and start focusing on what I can. I can change my heart. I can surrender my fears. I can trust God has a plan that I can’t possibly see right now – a good plan to give me a good future. I can believe He has a purpose for the things that happen in life, and that somehow He will use it for good. I can ask for God’s peace, instead of letting stress become toxic in my life. I can ask for Him to let me feel His Presence so I know I’m not alone. I can ask for spiritual eyes to see when He is blessing me in little and big ways. I can ask for a thankful heart.
Once you begin making these 5 tips a part of your every day life, I pray you will be able to soon say these 5 important words God is longing to hear: “I still love you Lord”. When those words leave your lips, God will smile, and so will you.