Struggling to find hope during hard times? Here are 4 tips when you want to give up the fight.
Often, when you’re walking through a time of pain and suffering, it can be tempting to give up and call it quits because you feel like it’s too hard. Nothing’s ever going to change and your prayers just aren’t working.
Today I want to share some encouraging words on how you can hold on to hope during the hardest times of your life. A few years ago, it had been a really hard week. The house was a mess. I couldn’t keep up with the laundry. I couldn’t keep up with the dishes. My boys’ room was a disaster.
I needed a break. But as a single mama, I had no idea where that was going to come from. As usual, when mama’s at the end of her rope my boys’ behavior gets out of control. Kids often respond to kind of the environment that they’re in, and my kids were no exception.
But I couldn’t deal with their behaviors. I was having a hard time parenting well and being graceful. They needed more than I had to offer at that time. They needed direction, they did grace and I was frankly too wiped out to even try.
I remember waking up that morning and just sobbing and crying to God. I was like Lord, I’m done, I can’t take it anymore. I’ve got nothing left, I’m just done. It was then that I got a sweet text from a friend, and she encouraged me not to give up hope.
Today I want to share with you four things that you can do when you need hope. When I say hope, I mean H.O.P.E. a little acronym to help us remember the things that I’m going to share today.
Hold on to God’s Promises
The first thing is to hold on to God’s promises. When you go through something hard, it can be difficult and dang near impossible to find and hold on to the truth about your situation. Truth is where you’ll find your freedom.
Scripture is where you learn that God’s promises are yes and amen. That he will do all that he promises to do. I want to encourage you to ground yourself in the truth and hold on to his promises.
What this looked like for me was learning to seek out truth in scripture during my time with God. As I was looking at scripture, as I was studying and digging in, I started marking his promises. Every time I came across a promise I would highlight it and write it down.
Eventually, I had a list of promises that I could go to in those moments where I was struggling because I didn’t have the energy to go to the bible and start looking for them in those moments. But I could go to my list and read over them, pray over them, and remind myself things like:
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Romans 8:37 ESV
Praying his promises and praying scripture over yourself to remind yourself of the truth is how you combat the lies of the enemy. That’s how you can renew your mind. You’re believing certain things about yourself, about God, and about a situation that often aren’t true and that can rob you of your hope.
Grounding yourself in truth and reminding yourself of the truth, is going to help you to hold on to God’s promises, which can give you a lifeline that is so needed when things are hard.
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Obey God’s Commands
Next is to obey God’s commands. Honestly, obedience is not my favorite thing. It’s something that I struggle with, especially when God is asking me to obey something that’s really hard for me.
If somebody hurts my kids or hurts me, the last thing that I want to do is offer grace. The last thing that I want to do is walk in forgiveness. But that’s exactly what God calls us to do.
And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God. Deuteronomy 28:1-2 ESV
You can see here that what is required of us is to obey the voice of the Lord. Twice in these two verses, it says to obey God and to do what he says because then he will elevate you and bless you because of your obedience.
When you walk in obedience, you are setting yourself up to experience a blessing from God. Sometimes the blessing that comes from walking in obedience to what God asks you to do is peace, and who doesn’t want peace when things are really hard and wonky?
Pray without Ceasing
I would not be the intercessor or prayer warrior that I am today without my hard times. I had to learn the hard way the importance of prayer and the importance of using it offensively, defensively, of all the time, and just praying all the time.
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ESV
When you are constantly going to God in prayer, you’re constantly listening for his voice, going to him for direction, going to him for discernment, looking to him for wisdom, and guidance for the next steps.
It helps to take the pressure off of you to do all the things and be all the things and have all the answers because you can’t. Only God can. You’re human. You are not sovereign. When you learn to take everything to God in prayer you’ll be able to stay connected to God, the source of your hope.
Expect God to Show Up
Years ago, my oldest told me that he felt like God had forgotten about us. He didn’t think that we were going to make it through the hard times and he was struggling with his faith. He was doubting, he was discouraged, and he was disappointed.
I remember pulling him into my lap and telling him that I’d felt the same way. It’s so common for you to walk through something really hard and get discouraged and feel like God has abandoned you. It’s okay to struggle with doubts, it’s normal.
We are all going to experience those things, but you have to remember that God keeps his promises. That’s one of the reasons that I started with holding on to God’s promises because he’s not a liar. He is going to do exactly what he says every single time, without fail.
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1 ESV
You have to hold on to hope. Trust when God says he’s there for you, he’s going to make a way, and he’s going to show up. No matter how you feel, God is there. He has not forgotten about you. He has a plan.
Now, this does not mean that everything’s going to get better. I’ve talked about this recently something I struggled with. I believed if I was praying, obeying God, and holding on to his promises, at some point things were going to get better or start to change.
I kept telling myself it wouldn’t always be this hard. I had to learn that was not what God promised. He does hear every prayer and collects every tear. He is a very present and caring God, so expect him to show up.
Don’t fall into the trap of deciding beforehand what God’s showing up will look like, because when that happens, you often miss the boat. You have this preconceived notion in your mind of what God’s going to do, and when he doesn’t do that, you feel like he’s forgotten about you.
Final Thoughts on How to Hold onto Hope
If you’re in a hard time and are ready to give up because you think have nothing left. I want you to keep holding onto hope. Hold onto his promises and obey whatever it is that God tells you to do. Big, small, makes sense, doesn’t make sense. Just commit to just walking in obedience.
Pray without ceasing. Pray about everything: your doubts, your struggles, when you don’t understand, and when it’s hard. Then expect God to show up. Hope is what helps you keep your eyes on the cross, which is where your help comes from.
If you have your eyes on Jesus you’re not going to be overtaken by the storm. You’re not going to be consumed by the fire, because your eyes are on the truth. On the one who can and will rescue you. That is where you can find strength, peace, and joy so you can keep going one more day.
Related Trusting God Articles:
- How Your View of God Affects Your Relationship
- Hearing the Voice of God
- Finding Your Identity in Christ
Holding onto hope during hard times is possible if you keep your eyes on Jesus.
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