Are you going through a hard time?
Do you believe God has good plans for you? We can readily believe in God’s good plans for us when things are going well, but what about when they are not? Going through a hard time can make believing in God’s good plans… well, harder. Are you going through a hard time right now? You are not alone! I want you to know that. Homeschooling is a blessing and a God-given calling, but that does not mean there will not be hard times along this journey. So, as Heart of Dakota (HOD) Christian homeschool parents, what can we do when going through a hard time? How can we get to a place where we truly believe God is a good Father with good plans for us? Well, first, we go to the Bible.
Take God at His Word
What does the Bible say about God’s plans for us as Christians?
Jeremiah 29:11 says, “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.”
This Scripture verse is on my Bible cover. When I am going through difficult times (or the people I love most are), I say Jeremiah 29:11 out loud. I find it such a comfort to speak this verse out loud.
The Bible is God’s living Word. According to 2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
So, when we are going through a hard time, we must simply take God at His Word. All Scripture is God-breathed, so we know He does have good plans for us, even when we cannot understand how those plans can be good. I go back to this in the hardest of times. I have determined to believe this no matter what.
Talk to God About It
When going through a hard time, a person can turn to or from God. God already knows our every thought, concern, and need. We are hiding nothing from Him when we are silent. It is in our best interest to turn to God in hard times, as well as in good times. He loves us, and He is a good Father. Just as we love our children, He loves us as His children – though even better.
One of my Dad’s favorite Scripture passages was Romans 8:38-39. It is one of my favorites as well. “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
So, we truly are never alone in our hard times because God never leaves us. Nothing can separate us from His love that is in Christ Jesus, our Lord and Savior. When we are going through hard times, we can talk to God about it.
He cares. He listens. And He loves us. I have determined to believe this no matter what.
If You Can’t Talk to God About It, the Holy Spirit Can
There are times that are so hard that we just cannot think what to say or to pray. We simply have no words. God is not let down by our inability to know what to say or to pray. In His infinite wisdom He has taken care of that problem and made a good plan for us already. Romans 8:26 says, “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.”
So if you are going through such a hard time in life that you simply do not know what to pray or to say to God, rest assured the Holy Spirit can intercede for you. He will know just what to say. He lives within you and knows what it going on. I have asked Him to do so when I have been in tears and unable to think what even to say. This too gives comfort and brings sleep when I could not sleep before; it brings peace when peace was no where to be found. I know the Holy Spirit has interceded and whatever He said, well – it was just right. So when I am going through a hard time, I have determined to believe this no matter what.
Remember What God Has Done in the Past
When I am going through a hard time, I think back to what God has done for me in the past. I keep a journal, and I have for the past decade. Reading back through my journals, it is truly amazing how many things God has done for me and the people I love! Looking back on God’s provision, I can put my trust in Him, even if I don’t understand why things are the way they are now. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on thine own understanding; in all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.”
Remembering what God has done in the past helps me put my trust back in Him. It makes it okay that things are too hard to lean on my own understanding; it makes it a strength when I choose to trust in Him and lean hard on Him instead.
Praise God for What Is Good
Amidst the hardest of times, there are good things. Some things are still going right if you look hard enough. I like to thank the Lord for these by saying them out loud when I am going through a hard time. Or, sometimes I list them out in my journal. It is surprising how many things are still going right when I begin trying to think of them!
No matter what, the very best thing that could be going right in our life is going right if we believe in Jesus. I love Jesus’ words in John 16:33: “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
We need to find the things that are good in our life, and then we need to link those good things back to our good Father and His good plan.
Pray for Others
Something happens when we pray for others. We realize we are not the only ones going through a hard time, and we have compassion for them. I find it hard to pity myself when I pray for others’ needs. When I am tempted to throw a pity party, I remember God is faithful and will not give me more than I can bear. As wise Paul said in 1 Corinthians 10:13, “No temptation has overtaken you except which is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”
Praying for others reminds me they too are going through hard times, and their hard times I very likely might not be able to bear – but MY hard times, I can. I know because God said so.
Are you going through a hard time? I have prayed for you, knowing if you read this far, you are indeed going through a hard time. Remember, God is a good Father with good plans for you. You can talk to Him about your hard times, and He will love you through them. If you cannot talk to Him because you simply do not have the words, ask the Holy Spirit to and He will intercede for you.
When you need to find comfort, think of what God has done for you in the past. Look at your life, and praise Him for what is good. Remember, Jesus loves you so much He died for you, and no matter what you are going through, take heart – He has overcome the world. Take a moment to pray for others, as I just have for you. It reminds you others need your prayers too.
And then get busy with your day, one day at a time, finding joy as often as you can. And when your hard times show themselves again, determine to believe that which you know to be true. He loves you! He is a good Father! And He has good plans for you no matter what. Lean hard on Him; He can take it.