10 Ways to Trust God’s Will When Life is Hard
I always believed God blessed good behavior and in many ways, He does, but the truth is you and I are not perfect … our behavior will never be good enough.
So, most of us would probably admit — life is hard!
Add to any personal problems you and I experience, our lives are also complicated by the fact that we live among people whose behavior falls anywhere from mostly good to downright awful.
Yep, life is hard!
You and I live in a fallen world with fallen people.
Adam and Eve failed to follow God’s will and well, ever since that fateful day in the Garden the rest of us have followed their example.
Fallen people living in a fallen world make life challenging.
The truth is, we shouldn’t be surprised by our “life is hard” seasons.
And yet we are.
Rev and I went through a prolonged and painful season a little over a decade ago. I’ll spare you the details because today I want to focus on the ways God used it for good.
As bad as it was, a huge blessing came out of that time … God taught us that we could trust His will because He is faithful and His promises are true.
The following are some of our favorites.
10 Ways to Trust God’s Will When Life is Hard
1. Don’t let the battle surprise you – be prepared.
Jesus told His followers to anticipate problems. Before our painful season, this verse did not give me peace. I was terrified of potential trials and sorrows. But I was only looking at the trials and sorrows part. The promise is … Jesus has overcome! He has won the victory and He is able to give each of us the strength and peace we need to take life one day at a time.
“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.” John 16:33
2. God is listening – pray without ceasing!
Oh wow, we prayed. We asked everyone we knew to pray. We asked God to give us wisdom and understanding and meet our need for His supernatural peace and strength. We asked Him to show us His will and help us follow … and He did. He didn’t answer every prayer the way we’d hoped but He met every need with His best.
Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. Romans 12:12
3. Strive to surrender to God’s will – obey Him.
You and I can’t surrender and obey God’s will if we don’t know what it is. I am still so far from obeying God the way I want and even further from the way He wants but during that difficult season, I grew to love God’s Word. The Lord is not secretive about His will. He used prophets and apostles to document it and Jesus to live it. The more I study His Word, I learn that His way really is best and I want to obey Him.
For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. Hebrews 4:12
4. God’s timing is perfect – trust Him.
You and I want quick answers and easy solutions. But many of life’s problems can’t be resolved either quickly or easily.
We have a broken relationship that has lasted far longer than I ever imagined and I continue to have days where I struggle with deep sadness because of it. But I will continue to wait, pray, and believe that God is at work in the hearts and minds of everyone involved.
Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord. Psalm 27:14
5. God can use even the worst circumstances for good – remain hopeful.
I recently read the account of Joseph, who was rejected by his brothers, sold into slavery, and wrongly imprisoned. He stayed focused on God and lived obediently each day. Then when he could have turned the tables on the people who caused his pain; he was able to profess God’s bigger picture as he had already forgiven each offense.
You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people. Genesis 50:20
6. Keep your eyes on Jesus not on your situation – stay focused.
My thoughts control my mood and attitude. I’m guessing that’s true for you, too. When I ponder my problems on spin cycle, I’m guaranteed a rotten day and pass my rottenness along to everyone with whom I interact. But when I turn up my praise music, repeat verses I’ve memorized, and think about all the ways Jesus has faithfully walked with me in the past … well, let’s just say it’s better for everyone.
Let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1a–2
7. Remember God knows the big picture of your life – be still.
I know more now that I’m in my sixties than I did in my fifties or any decade before. I don’t know how the future will look but God does. So, I can be still and rest in Him know He knows my today, tomorrow and forever. That truth gives me the courage to trust and follow wherever He leads.
“I am the Alpha and the Omega—the beginning and the end,” says the Lord God. “I am the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come—the Almighty One.” Revelation 1:8
8. You are not on this journey alone – be strong and courageous!
One of the hardest parts of our painful season was feeling like we were alone. When friends are at a loss for words to comfort and encourage and you feel like no one understands, remember Jesus promise…
“This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord, your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
9. Crawl, walk and run … until you soar – Get up and LIVE!
When life is hard, get up and do what you can do today. I’ve learned that thinking about other people may be the very best thing I can do to get my mind off my problems. Some days I’ve crawled through, some I’ve walked or run and by God’s grace, I’ve even enjoyed some soaring days!
But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31
10. Write it down – count your blessings!
I started writing here at Counting My Blessings during that difficult time because I wanted to hold myself accountable to look for the blessings God was giving even in the midst of the pain. When life is hard it’s difficult to think about anything else. But looking for all that was good helped me survive what wasn’t. So grab a journal or start a blog and write your blessings!
Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16–18
I’m not going to try to tell you this is easy. It’s not. But I promise with God’s help, these ten things will help you trust God’s plan even when you don’t understand and life is hard.
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I always enjoy hearing from you! Please take a minute to say ‘hi’ and share your thoughts in the comments below.
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Hi, tx for your courage me with the words from Jesus.
Thank you, Rani! I’m so glad it blessed you!
This is great. Love this list. I especially appreciate that the list remind me that it is not easy, and all the verses in the world do not make it easy. They, instead, make life bearable.
Thank you, Brittany! I’ve learned to make that my prayer for the hard days, “Lord, please give me enough strength for today.” It’s so easy to want the pain to go away but I’ll admit that’s my first desire but wow, God has taught me the most through the worst. So, with His help, I will trust that He’s with me and will carry me through. God bless!!
Thank you for your encouraging words My husband died of a brain tumor 51 days ago, just 6 months after diagnosis. I am in shock and I am crushed. Seeking comfort, the Lord has led me to this article and within it I found much hope and even some joy.
Deb, your words and scriptures here are exactly what I needed to read today in light of Danny’s Mom’s sudden turn. Thank you for praying for her. We will know more later today about when she can come home, but we both realize everything is in God’s hands.
I’m so glad this helped, Martha! We will continue praying for your sweet mother-in-love and look forward to hearing from you soon. God bless you, my friend!
Good Morning, Deb!
You are so very much on target in this post. Scripture clearly points to the truth that hard times will come and be with us in this life, but it can be easier to have that “head knowledge” than to appropriate it when our emotions are raw and worn from a difficult season.
Have a blessed day!
Amen, Pam! When I remember all that God has gotten me through in the past and hold is promises close, I am more equipped to handle the hard times that will inevitably come. Blessings!
Thank you for sharing, Deb.
I love it when God shows up at just the right moment … like today!
Thank you, Tracy! He is so good! Thanks for taking the time to say “hello”.
Thank you for your insight and your love of God. I am a relative newbie to your site but have found comfort and inspiration in your writings. I question myself continually; afraid I am not on the right track or not following God’s plan for me. I’ve been praying about this a lot recently, and your last three posts have addressed these prayers in topic and in the Bible verses you’ve chosen: if they haven’t been the verses I’ve been praying then they have spoken in answer to my own verses and prayers. Thank you, I hope you know how much you are appreciated.
Oh, Vicky, I am humbled and so very blessed that God would use my writing to bless and encourage you. Thank you for letting me know. Growing closer to God is a blessed journey and I’m so thankful to be taking this journey with you! God bless you!
I loved this because life is hard for all of us at different times throughout our life. We have to stop and remember who God is and what he said he would do during these times.
I agree, Tressie! Knowing the difficult times with happen and having God’s promises close to our hearts is so helpful. He uses them to infuse strength, peace, and hope as we trust that He is true to His Word. Thank you and God bless!
Life can be hard, at times. Genesis 50.20 is one of my favorite verses to hold on to during those times. Thanks for all the verses you shared. What precious promises!
I know, Donna, I love that verse. What the enemy and others intend for harm God is able to use for good in our lives. I can give testimony to that! Blessings and hugs!
Wonderful truths and reminders today, Deb!
Sure am blessed by you~
Thanks, Girlfriend! Hugs and blessings to you!!
Thank you. You are a blessing. May God continue to bless you richly.
I loved all of this!! Especially #6, I am very big on refocusing on Jesus during life’s difficult moments and discuss it similarly in one of my blog posts! Thanks your words of encouragement!
One of my favorite posts that you have ever written, Deb. Thank you for sharing so honestly. I too have a relationship full of distance and pain, and it’s lasting much longer than I ever thought. Your post speaks right to it, and I do understand both the pain of the situation and the joy you can find in God’s presence and his Word. I’m also glad that you say it isn’t easy, and we should expect troubles. That’s a message which isn’t often heard in the church, but needs to be said. You are an inspiration to me always, especially in how tactfully you deal with difficult subjects. Thank you for your faithful ministry to fellow bloggers too–I’m truly enjoying your new group!
Feeling blessed. Wonderful article
Talk about timing. This was perfect, at a very not perfect moment!! God knows exactly what we need, when we need it. He will use any medium to remind us of His promises and who He is, even Pinterest! ♡
Tonya, I just love hearing that! Thank you! I’m praying for you today, asking God to hold you close through this difficult time. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment and bless me with an opportunity to pray for you! God bless you!!
I am in the midst of tribulations and feeling that God’s plans are so vague but the port of call glows with light. This pin helped me in taking a step of faith in my tribulations and trust His plan more by rejoicing in this season.Thankyou @Deb.God bless you with more and more insight of Christ and His will.
Loved this. Thank you so much for sharing.
It has not been easy for me at all but I learnt a bit here. Just like the concluding part said, “I’m not going to try to tell you this is easy. It’s not. But I promise with God’s help, these ten things will help you trust God’s plan even when you don’t understand and life is hard.”, I pray God locates me soon.
Lovely post! Thank you for sharing what the Lord has taught you along the way. God bless!
Thank you, Merrishel! I so appreciate your kind encouragement! May He cover you with His love and fill your life with His blessings!
I am going through a very difficult time right now. It feels like everything is falling apart. I am having a hard time trusting God right now. I’m questioning my motives, whether or not Jesus still loves me, and it is a living nightmare for me. Please pray for me, thank you and God Bless you. Thank you for your message, and thank God that He is using this rough time in my life to draw me closer to Him. It really hurts right now,
I am so sorry you’re going through this difficult time, Andrew. I am praying for you and asking God to guide and direct you and grant you His peace. I can assure you that Jesus loves you. That is always a given. It will never change. Nothing you can do will make Him love you less. I do believe He uses hard times to draw us closer because He loves us so much!
Thank you so much for encouragement.I just lost my husband.this is exactly what I needed.Blessings to you !!
This post was so helpful, it’s comforting and gives me some sort of strength. I’m at a point where I’m being accused of something that I didn’t do. I’ve tried so hard to defend myself but it has not helped. I have been praying and things seem to be getting worse. I trust dearly in the Lord and believe that he will reveal the truth for me in his time. But i don’t know if I have the time, either my marriage is going to break because of something that I never did or the truth will be revealed. Sorry for blabbering, but except Jesus, I have nowhere to turn to and no1 to confide in.
Eugenia, I am so sorry you are going through this difficult time. I am praying and asking God to fight for you and reveal the truth in this situation. You are not at all blabbering. You are welcome here. I am also asking God to pour His peace over you and allow you to feel an extra measure of His presence. God bless you!
This post came at the perfect time to remind me that although the broken relationship with my son is excruciating, God is working toward his plan. I need to be patient and still while counting the many blessing he gives every day. Please pray for peace and healing for my family.
Thank you and God Bless You
Oh, Lory, I’m so sorry! My momma’s heart has experienced that pain! I am definitely praying for you and for your family. Asking God to hold you close and comfort your hurting heart. God bless you!
i am happy i came across this,i need your permission so that i may share with my listeners this amazing lessons on Sunday please,i’m a journalist
What a blessing! Yes, absolutely! I would love for you to share this with others. I only request that you credit Counting My Blessings and point them back here so they can come over and visit and possibly be blessed by some of the other thoughts and Scriptures. Thank you so much! God bless you!
Thank you for creating this wonderful website! It’s bringing me much comfort during this time totally alone in quarantine. Your big heart and wisdom are a big blessing!
Lycia, thank you so much for blessing me with your kind encouragement. I love being able to share God’s love and tell people about His grace and mercy. His transforming power – changes everything. May He bless you and keep you safe during this difficult time.
Thanks to God for placing me in this suffering I am in midst of right now, God has been showing me I have much unrepentant sin through this situation and, though I am a Christian, is pointing out my part within it. I have been on my knees asking for forgiveness for each thing that has been shown to me this last week and want to trust that God will be merciful and just to all those in the situation. Putting self before God is part of that sin and trying to do things my way instead of having complete trust in his justice and waiting patiently for him, I have not given enough heed to His glory. I have sinned against God’s will for my life and I profess that the things I hold in my heart and actions that belie my faith have brought me to my knees to beg at his throne of grace for mercy and forgiveness…
please pray for me…
Julie, Thank you so much for visiting and for stopping to share your story. I am praying for you and asking God to assure you of His love and forgiveness. Turning to Him in repentance and asking Him to help us change is exactly where He wants us. I love how He then assures us of His grace and mercy. We can count on His promises. I love the assurance of the Psalms – His unfailing love toward those who fear Him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. Psalm 103:11–12. God bless you!