Yvette is a Christian counselor with a passion to help people find God's purpose for their life. Her hubs are sources of daily inspiration.
Finding Faith in Difficult Times
We all face adverse events and situations in life. You might be going through a season of hardships in your life at this time. This could be job loss, finances, sickness, loss of a loved one, relationship with a troubled child, or even divorce. But whatever the challenge is, you can have the determination to see things through as you find your strength in God.
As the song in the video below says, your life might be hard but God is good. In fact, you can move from feeling like a victim of your circumstances to find purpose through your faith. I have found the Apostle Paul's words in Romans 8: 35, 37 to be very encouraging in times of adversity:
"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? ... No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us."
Allow these verses to resonate in your heart, and know that no matter how bad the situation you are facing is, you can experience God's love, and nothing can separate you from it. You have reason to shout even in your dark place, for you have the love of God, and his Word that all things are possible with him.
Consider too, that you do not have to limp through this difficult time, but you can have the attitude of a victor. In fact, the Apostle Paul says you are "more than conqueror" Why is this so? Because Jesus Christ won the victory already on your behalf, and all you need to do now is to accept it by faith.
Take this journey and allow the Lord to speak to your heart, and change you, through these seven steps in the form of seven short devotions.
Life Is Hard, But God Is Good!
Step 1: Examine Your Heart
Focus Verse: "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it (Proverbs 4:23, NIV)."
When you are experiencing difficulties, the first place to start to deal with the issues, is with yourself. Your attitude in challenging times could determine the outcome. While you might not be able to change your circumstances, you can certainly cooperate with God to change you.
The place to start in this journey of self-examination and growth is your heart. The wise King Solomon instructs, "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it" (Proverbs 4:23). The verse implies that everything starts with your heart, and as such you need to pay careful attention to what is in it.
Your life will go in the direction that you heart is set. You might need to ask yourself these questions. Am I carrying offense and resentment in my heart? Is my heart truly set on the things of God more than that of the world?
After a time of careful reflections, confess areas of your life where you are off tract, tell God you want him to guide your life from today. You want to move forward with a heart that is open to change, and responsive to God's Word and the Holy Spirit
Focus Question: Is your heart truly set to set for God's purpose come to pass in your life?
Prayer: "Father God, your Word says that you require truth in the inward parts. I open my heart for you to show me any hidden agenda I might have that is not in line with your perfect will for my life. I ask you to wash me with the blood of Jesus Christ, and I move forward committed to your purpose for my life. Amen."
Step 2: Meditate on God's Word
Focus Verse: "Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful (Joshua 1:8, NIV).
The context of the verse indicates that Moses was dead and his assistant Joshua was facing the enormous task of assuming leadership to take the children of Israel into the Promised Land. Joshua knew it was a difficult undertaking from Moses' experiences with the Israelites. But Joshua was not alone, he had God's assurance that he would be with him and would direct his path.
Importantly, God gave Joshua strict instructions, and simply outlined, Joshua was supposed to:
- Consistently meditate on God's Word, that is, know his Word and keep his heart on them.
- Carefully obey the instructions of the Word of God, and not just be a hearer of the Word but a doer.
In your own situation, God is giving you the same instructions. Take time to meditate on his Word, and especially his promises regarding your circumstances. Find God's promises that speak to your situation and say then back to yourself day and night.
This is not mere parroting Scriptures, but allowing God's Word to change you. You can only reap the full benefits of his Words as you apply them to your life. Then there will be a change in your focus, and you will become more sensitive to what God's Word is saying about the circumstances you are facing.
Jesus promised, "If you remain in me and my word remain in you, ask whatever you wish and it shall be given to you" (John 15:7). So meditate on God’s Word, and allow Jesus’ word to become a reality in your life.
Focus Question: Are you satisfied that you spend enough time reading and meditating on God's Word?
Prayer: ”Father God, thank you that I have your Word to meditate on instead of focusing on my difficult situation. Give me a deep yearning for your Word that it will change me. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.
Facing Challenging Situtions
Step 3: Pray with Faith
Focus Verse: "Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours" (Mark 11:24, NIV)
Prayer, first of all, is communication with God, where you fellowship and build relationship with him. In the course of this relationship, God encourages us to ask for the things we need. Andrew Murray, nineteenth century pastor, defines prayer as a way of drawing God's blessings on us and the people around us.
In the face of adversity, spend time in prayer, and ask God to supply specific needs as he promises in his Word (Philippians 4:19) But there are principles for effective prayer. The late Kenneth Hagin, outlines the following steps to praying with results.
- Ask the Father in Jesus' Name (John 16:23).
- Pray in faith (Mark 11: 24). Believe that what you ask your Father for, based on the promises in his Word, you have received.
- Forgive others (Mark 11:25). Unforgiveness can hinder your faith and block you from receiving what God has for you.
- Pray in the Spirit (Romans 8:26). The Holy Spirit helps you in prayer. He is the Helper, so depend on him to enable you as you pray effectively.
When you ask God in faith to meet specific needs in your situation, there is no need to keep asking for the same thing. But move to thanking God that he heard and answered your prayer.
Focus Activity: Take some time to read, and prayerfully meditate on the Scriptures related to the steps to effective prayer.
Prayer: "Father God, thank you that you invite me to ask you and I will receive. You are the God who answers prayer. Today, I bring this difficult situation that I am facing --------- (be specific) to you. I ask that you work in this situation -------- (make specific requests). Thank you for the changes that have already started. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen."
Step 4: Renew Your Mind
Focus Verse: "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will" (Romans 12:2, NIV)
Psychologists tell us that our thinking influences how we feel and behave. In line with this idea, the verse instructs you to renew your mind. Your mindset could cause your life to be out of line with God's perfect will for you.
As you face challenging circumstances, you could find that you become very focused on them. Then these frustrating set of events could begin your shape your thinking. The result might be thought patterns that are not congruent with God's Word.
Then as the cycle continues, negatives feelings like sadness, resentment, and anger, could result in poor decisions and actions. So instead of allowing the world to cast you into its mold, consciously make an effort to focus on what God's Word says about you and your situation.
As you continue to keep your focus on God's Word, more and more, you will get God's perspective on the situation you are facing. Then you will find that things are not hopeless for God is in the situation changing you and ultimately your circumstances.
With your new perspective, you could see God using what was meant for evil to be a blessing in your life and the lives others. (Read the story of Joseph in Genesis chapters 37 and 39-50). With this perspective, you can be still and know that God is at work. Norman E. Rosenthal, MD, in his book, The Gift of Adversity, advises, "it is sometimes wise to remain silent even in the face of injustice."
Focus Question: Are you more focused and responsive to the adverse situation in your life than what God's Word says?
Prayer: “Father God, I thank you that my mind is renewed through your Word, so I don't have to be controlled by the dictates in any situation. Thank you for changing my mind through your Word and giving a fresh perspective on the situations I am facing. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.”
Step 5: Build Up Your Faith in God
Focus Verse: “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes” (Mark 9:23, NIV).
The context of the verse suggests that the issue was not whether Jesus wanted to heal the boy, for he did. The greater issue was whether the father could believe to receive the healing.
What about you and the situation you face? You might have prayed and make specific requests regarding the situation. Maybe you are not seeing any change, and you feel that God is not willing to answer your prayer and bring you the relief you need.
Can you believe that God wants to intervene? Then take the decision to believe that God's promise is true, for "everything is possible for one who believes." Then reflect on the following verse:
"What is faith? It is the confident assurance that something we want is going to happen. It is the certainty that what we hope for is waiting for us, even though we cannot see it up ahead" (Hebrews 11: 1, TLB).
Express the confidence of faith by boldly declaring specific promises related to your situation. As you do, you will find that you have a peace and quiet rest that God is at work in the situation, even though you might not see any outward change yet.
Focus Question. What steps will you take to continue to stand in faith until you see answers to your prayers?
Prayer: “Father God, thank you that you answer prayers. Help me to stand in faith on your promises until I see changes in my situation, and you will get the glory! In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.”
Coping with Hard Times
Step 6: Offer Praise and Thanksgiving
Focus Verse: "Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus" (1 Thessalonians 5:18, NIV).
God wants you to thank and praise him, not just in good times, but also when things get difficult. After all, he never changes, and his blessings are available in every situation you face. When you praise him, you recognize his goodness in all seasons.
Andrew Wommack outlines three benefits when we praise and give thanks in adverse circumstances. Praise is beneficial because you:
- Encourage yourself. You move from the difficulty of the situation, to see God's love, power and faithfulness. You no longer see a hopeless situation, but that the power of God is that is able to change you and the situation. As you praise, you can be like David, who in hard times encouraged himself in the Lord (1 Samuel 30:6). Then you see, El Shaddai, the God Almighty of blessings, who nourishes, satisfies and sustains.
- Drive out the enemy. The devil is behind much of the adverse situations that you experience. He is the thief who comes to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). He wants to hinder God's plan for your life. As you give your praise to God, where it belongs, this drives off the enemy.
- Please God. It delights God's heart to see his child praising him even in difficult circumstances for this is showing your abiding trust and reliance on him. Praising God in difficult situations demonstrates your faith in God for "without faith it is impossible to please God" (Hebrews 11:6).
- Receive Jesus' gift of peace. Jesus gave his disciples this assurance just before he was crucified, "My peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you ... Don't let you heart be fearful. neither let it be afraid" (John 14:27). This promise is for you today. So receive his gift of peace and give him praise for it. Then Jesus' peace will surround you and the fear you are experiencing will disappear.
Spend some time and take an inventory of God's goodness in your life. Call to remembrance specific things he has done in your life, and start thanking him. Think of who he is; his divine qualities and start praising him. Let praise and thanksgiving flow from your heart, for God is good! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Focus Question: What steps will you take to cultivate an attitude of thanksgiving and praise in your life?
Prayer: "Father God, I thank you for your goodness in my life. You are faithful to me and I give thanks and praise. Give me a thankful heart in every situation I face. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen."
Step 7: Nurture Your Spirit, Soul and Body
Focus Verse: "May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Thessalonians 5:23, NIV)
As you pass through adverse circumstances, especially for prolonged periods, your spirit, soul, and body can be affected. Your spirit is the core of your being, and so the previous six devotions focused on building you spiritually. But there other important aspects of your life that you must pay attention to as you pass through hard times.
When you pursue life balance, you nurture all aspects of your life, including the spiritual, social, emotional, and physical domains. They are all inter-related. So take steps to take care of your physical health including good nutrition, and getting adequate rest and exercise.
Socially, building strong connections is essential. Promote healthy, nurturing relationships with your family and in your church. Why not join a small group ministry in your church? Here, you can connect, grow in your faith, and experience a sense of belonging. You also get opportunities to reach out to others.
Nurture your emotional well-being through reducing your stress levels. An important way to start is to respond to your Father’s invitation to cast all your anxieties and worries upon him, for he cares for you (1 Peter 5:7). Change your self-talk (internal conversations) to positive, self-enhancing ones that are in line with God's promises in his Word.
With your faith at the center of your pursuit of life balance, you are more flexible to adapt to challenging situations. You will experience God's peace and spiritual and personal growth, as you pass through tough times. This leads to balance in the aspects of your life in differing seasons.
Focus Questions: What steps will you take to bring balance in your life as you pass through adverse situations?
Prayer: “Father God, thank you that I can experience balance in my life because it is committed to you. I recommit myself to you and open my heart for you to work in my life: spirit, soul and body. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.”
Bible Quotes to Encourage You in Tough Times
- "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? ... No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us" (Romans 8: 35, 37, NIV).
- Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it (Proverbs 4:23, NIV).
- "Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful (Joshua 1:8, NIV).
- "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:9, NIV).
- "Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours" (Mark 11:24, NIV).
- "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will" (Romans 12:2, NIV).
- “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes” (Mark 9:23, NIV).
- "Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus" (1 Thessalonians 5:18, NIV).
- "May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Thessalonians 5:23, NIV).
Enjoy the Seasons of Life
Divine Resilience: Bouncing Back from Challenging Times
As you take the seven steps, affirm that your faith can take you through hard times. Recognize that you have already started your journey of personal and spiritual growth and renewal, then enlarge your horizons on what God is doing in your life.
You can be like Joseph was, in his slavery and prison experiences, he got better instead of bitter. You too can gain a new perspective and grasp divine opportunities even in hard places. Then you can say, like Joseph, what was meant for evil, God used it for good. He said to his brothers:
"You plotted evil against me, but God turned it into good, in order to preserve the lives of many people who are alive today because of what happened" (Genesis 50: 20, GNB).
In the end, you can bounce back from adversity because your faith in God took you through. Your testimony will encourage others because they will see how God brought you through hard times into a good place.
© 2014 Yvette Stupart
Pastor. Dannana Gideon Garba on September 19, 2020:
I really appreciate your efforts. The message is needed seriosly in time like this. May God's anointing never dry over you.
paul kwame krassie on September 10, 2020:
I AM BLESS WITH YOUR BOOK.
Robin Parker on September 03, 2020:
Thank you, father God, for giving me the wisdom to seek help in times of trouble instead of giving up faith and hope. I pray for continual spiritual and wisdom. Amen
I am asking prayer warriors for intercessory prayer in my journey to getting my desired job to cover all of my needs and to help others along the way. Thank you in advance
thoughtsprocess from Navsari (India) on August 15, 2020:
Beautiful encouraging words. Thank you so much for sharing.
Rubie G. Gumatay on July 19, 2020:
Thanks GOD I read this column...I feel good for all the feelings of hardship at this time...I feel alone but when I read this I feel good...that's what I needed full of encouragement..
Timothy Ikusika on July 14, 2020:
Thanks so much for this piece, it really lifted my soul. May God continue to use you for His glory.
Yvette Stupart (author) from Jamaica on July 01, 2020:
Dear Brenda, I am happy that you were encouraged. Continue to stand on God's Word in the face of your circumstances for God is faithful,
Yvette Stupart (author) from Jamaica on July 01, 2020:
Dear Maria, please know that God loves you and he is with you in every situation you face. No matter what, he will never leave you, even when you have doubts.
Musoki Brenda on July 01, 2020:
I feel so encouraged and strong enough to face every trial believing and trusting in God because he assures me that as long as I pray and believe I wil surely receive. Thanks for this platform I feel strengthened by God's grace.
Maria skinner on June 30, 2020:
Thank you so much I’m going through things and I have been sad anger and haven’t had much faith but I always have believe in God at time I stop and I’m sorry to my god I know he real . Thank u so much I needed this and god wanted me to see it so I was here reading it thank you and thank u Jesus in the named of Jesus Amen Anen
Mercy on June 26, 2020:
This is just what I needed thanks for the encouragement.
Yvette Stupart (author) from Jamaica on June 26, 2020:
You are welcome, Dwain. Keep standing on God's Word until you see its manifestation in your situation.
Dwain on June 26, 2020:
Thank you for sharing this..It made me realize things and focus again on the promise of God!
Alyx on June 25, 2020:
Thank you for making this powerful & meaningful devotions. I'll properly use this in my life's hardest situations. God bless you more!
Maricar Bergonio on June 24, 2020:
Im not good in english,
but i really want to share my experience good/bad everything. I really need this now. im just a mom over protective mom
Yvette Stupart (author) from Jamaica on June 04, 2020:
Thanks, Yves and bless you.
Yvette Stupart (author) from Jamaica on June 04, 2020:
God bless you too, Igbinosa and thanks for your kind words.
Igbinosa Paulina on June 04, 2020:
Thanks Yvette for putting this beautiful encouraging post together God bless you richly
Yves on June 03, 2020:
Thanks for the great article.
Yvette Stupart (author) from Jamaica on May 02, 2020:
You are welcome, Ryan.
RBN Knowledge on April 30, 2020:
Thanks for sharing this.
Yvette Stupart (author) from Jamaica on March 14, 2020:
manatita44 from london on March 14, 2020:
Inspirational Hub. Carry on Yvette. Carry on!
bassy on March 14, 2020:
your outline helps me a lot in handling difficulties especially this last days.we are facing so many problems in which human wisdom cant help us...thank youfor sharing spiritual foods for the soul...MAY GOD BLESS AND ANNOINT YOUR THOUGHTS TO HELP EVERI INDIVIDUAL GROW IN THE LORD
Faith Blevins on February 04, 2019:
PoetikalyAnointed My grandfather passed away last year and I am still struggling for my school work/ senior Experience because I am having hard times for my parents and for me as well because they are also struggling too for them. because it's too hard to find what I want or my parents want. but you know it is really sad and my grandfather did all of the panting for my house. oh my gosh please pry? thank you
PoetikalyAnointed on January 13, 2019:
I pray the same for you!.
Yvette Stupart (author) from Jamaica on January 13, 2019:
PoetikalyAnointed, I am happy that my hub encouraged you. I pray that you will experience God's undergirding power and blessing in a special way this year and beyond.
PoetikalyAnointed on January 09, 2019:
Thank you Lord, for I Know you were talking to me in this Hub! This is exactly where I am in life right now and this is exactly what I needed to read today!
I've been spreading God's Word on here to help me as well as others during this time in my life. Your spiritual words of encouragement truly resonated upon my heart and I know that it's going to get better! In fact, it already has! I've grown exponentially in the Lord over the last year because of my personal struggles. I know that my Victory has already begun but it hasn't put itself in my view just yet. I'm still holding on and will never let go.
Bless you for this Hub!
Yvette Stupart (author) from Jamaica on October 21, 2018:
Hi Ishanesu, thanks for your comment. We can trust God to supply our needs no matter where we are in the world. He is there to help us no matter what our challenges are. But we need to have faith in his word for according to Hebrews 1:6 without faith it is impossible to please God.
Ishanesu Gusha on October 20, 2018:
This is an enriching article especially for us in countries that are experiencing poor economies
Yvette Stupart (author) from Jamaica on October 11, 2018:
Hi Amara, I happy that you are encouraged. I pray that you will experience a knowledge of God's grace and peace and deep sense that God loves you and he has a good plan for your life.
Amara on October 04, 2018:
Hi hub i read ur article nd it encourages me pls i need God intervention in settling down tnx
John kipkemboi on September 08, 2018:
Thanks b blessed so much coz you've helped me now many things in live. am from kenya
Yvette Stupart (author) from Jamaica on September 03, 2018:
Hi Jubal, I am happy that my article encourages you. I am standing with you in praying believing that God, Jehovah Jireh, will supply all your needs and you will receive the job you are seeking.
Jubal Tripathy on August 29, 2018:
Thanks for your encouraging article on holding unto our Faith.
I need your prayer support and God's intervention to provide me with a job.
Yvette Stupart (author) from Jamaica on August 04, 2018:
Thank you, Obeng and may the Lord bless you too.
obeng on August 04, 2018:
thank you very much for this inspiring motivational messages. God richly bless you for this piece.
Yvette Stupart (author) from Jamaica on June 07, 2018:
Premjoy, I thanks for your comments and I am happy that my hub encourages. I pray that God will use you in a special way in the ministry that he has called you to. Also, I am confident that God will provide all you need to complete the work that he gives you to do.
Premjoy Narzary on June 07, 2018:
First a fall I would like to thank God also you all It is really encourage to in my heart thank you for so wonderful message .
One thing I very humblely request to you all please pray for my future plan for to do Gods ministry may I get blessing and helps from God.
Thank you .
Yvette Stupart (author) from Jamaica on May 18, 2016:
Thanks so much for your kind words and encouragement Sabrinadean.
Yvette Stupart (author) from Jamaica on April 26, 2015:
Thanks Lynn77, I am happy you found my hub helpful.
Thanks for your kind words manatita44,
Blessings to you both,
manatita44 from london on April 20, 2015:
Many noble qualities in your Hub. Gratitude, faith, Prayer ... a wonderful and beautiful Hub. Peace.
Laquita Lynette from Texas on September 20, 2014:
Excellent hub! I will have to come back and read it again to jot down some info... I know you shared do much useful information! God bless
Yvette Stupart (author) from Jamaica on April 17, 2014:
Thanks so much adrienne2. I am happy you were blessed as you read my hub.
Fierce Manson from Atlanta on April 17, 2014:
What a wonderful hub. Very well-written, and you offer so many tips on how to keep our faith during a hard times. Thanks for sharing.
Yvette Stupart (author) from Jamaica on February 20, 2014:
Thank you so much Faith Reaper. I agree, it is so important to stay in constant fellowship with God, our Father who cares for us. It is easy for us to focus on the situation so that it causes us to take our focus off him and so we neglect our relationship with him.
Faith Reaper from southern USA on February 19, 2014:
Excellent hub. Your weekly devotions are inspiring and very helpful. For me, it is praying throughout the day and staying in that constant communication with my Lord. When my eyes first open in the morning, I praise God and that is my prayer and ask for protection during the day and my hour commute to and fro and for my family. Once I truly cast all of my cares to Him, I am in complete peace.
Up and more and sharing
God bless you. In His Love, Faith Reaper