This article will help you learn how to have hope in hard times. We find hope not in ourselves, our friends, government, or media, but from our Living God.
On May 6, a local man was burning illegal materials in a burn barrel. He neglected to extinguish the fire and the combustion escaped the barrel to burn the surrounding areas.
Dry windy conditions carried the fire to 343 acres of wildlands and suburbs. It completely destroyed 33 homes and severely damaged 26 more.
Neighbors lost everything they owned, all their earthly possessions, cars, computers, pets, photographs, important papers, everything in one evening.
Can you imagine the feeling of learning that everything you own, all the things you worked hard for, are completely wiped out?
David In Hard Times
When David and his army looked over the horizon to Ziklag, the city had burned to the ground. Even their wives and children were gone.
They wept until their strength was gone. Such bitter despair filled their hearts that the men talked of stoning David to death.
In this horrific situation, where no comfort was to be found, the Scriptures say David “encouraged [strengthened] himself in the Lord his God” (1 Sam 30:6).
Then he “inquired of the Lord” as to his next steps.
David found his hope in God.
You may not be facing a burned-out home like some of our neighbors, but during this COVID-19 pandemic, we have all stared down fear’s eyes. We have encountered stress upon stress.
Many people face loss of jobs and the future they dreamed of. Many people continue to face life-threatening situations.
Our lives have changed. Then even worse than what has already happened is the anxiety of not knowing what will happen.
Life is hard right now. Change is hard, and there seems to be no encouraging news.
But, . . .
In the middle of the dark times we can find hope–not in ourselves, friends, government, scientists, or media–but we can find hope in God.
We can take David’s example of how to have hope in hard times with the Holy Spirit as our Guide.
4 Steps To Have Hope In Hard Times
1. Honestly Acknowledge the Situation and Grieve
First, honestly take time to acknowledge the situation you are facing. If you feel like crying, cry. Even David’s warrior men cried.
God gave us emotions to be the thermometer of our souls. Do not ignore things as if they aren’t real. This is real. This is really hard.
Please don’t feel like you don’t have faith if you get real about your problems. It takes faith to be honest with God about your feelings. In order to heal and go forward, you have to face problems. You can’t ignore things.
If you try to ignore problems, they become emotional wounds that rub and remain sore until they are faced and healed.
We are all going through a season of grieving life as it used to be. Grieving is a normal process.
Stay as long as you need, but do not get stuck.
Grief is a place we travel through.
2. Encourage Yourself In The Lord To Find Hope
David encouraged himself in God’s love. You have Christ living in your heart. You have the anointing of the Holy One.
Your Lord has promised never to leave you nor forsake you. That is an eternal promise.
God has given you faith to overcome, so you have enough faith already, inside you.
Faith doesn’t always take you out of a problem, but the God of your faith will always walk with you through problems.
Faith doesn’t always take away the pain, but the God of your faith will always give you the grace to handle the pain.
Faith doesn’t always take you out of the storm, but the God of your faith will calm you through the storm.
The Lord knows you inside and out. He knows what you face and wants to face it with you. You can find your hope in God.
3. Inquire Of The Lord To Find Hope
In the face of devastation, David turned to inquire of the Lord for himself.
He did not ask his buddies what they thought. He did not ask the priest, and he did not complain on Facebook.
When life got hard, he went to his place of prayer.
He knew God was for him and not against him.
So, David inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I pursue this troop? Shall I overtake them?”
And He answered him, “Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all” (1 Sam 30:8).
The key to success is to encourage yourself in God’s love, and inquire of God for strategies to move forward.
4. Believe And Obey
David believed and obeyed God’s direction and he recovered all— plus additional spoils besides.
David and his mighty warriors obtained enough spoils to share with the people who did not fight in the battle and enough to send as gifts to others.
Believe God to recover all the things in your life the enemy has stolen.
You are more than a conqueror; you get spoils besides!
Believe for enough to bless other people around you!
Believe God for the restoration of all things! Believe for things in your life to be better than they were before!
Believe God for miracles in every area of life!
Practical Steps For How To Have Hope In Hard Times:
Here are a couple of practical things that will help you have hope in the Lord.
- Remember good things from your past and be thankful. Remember how God has brought you through previous tough times. David probably thought about how God delivered him from the lion, the bear, and Goliath.
- Think about things that could have happened but didn’t. Remind yourself who your God is to you. Shake off victim mentality. Stand up on the inside. David probably poured out his soul in song. Take some time away to pour out your soul to God and praise the only One who can bring victory to your life. You can hope in the Lord!
- Think about what kinds of things bring you peace? What kinds of things keep you upset and on edge? You can learn how to recognize God’s work in your life by knowing how he shows up in your daily life. He brings peace, love, and joy. Anything else is not God. So, begin to think about the things that bring peace to your heart. Cultivate a more peaceful life. Go out into nature and take time to observe the little things. Notice God’s beauty. Be thankful. Notice the encouraging, hopeful things.
Practical Prayers For How To Have Hope In Hard Times:
Prayer doesn’t always have to be a long-drawn-out ordeal. Of course, some things require more prayer than others, but try the simple little prayer ideas below and expect your Lord to answer.
- Come before the Lord thankfully and humbly as a curious child.
- Quiet your mind of all the busy life things. Simply and quietly offer thanks and praise.
- Yield your heart to Him. Notice His sweet peaceful presence. Linger in His peace.
- Ask Him your questions. Ask for help. Ask for Hope. Ask specifically for what you need.
- Ask that His will be done on earth as it is done in Heaven.
- Ask for the grace to keep going and to face your fears.
- Ask for wisdom and strategies to go forward.
- Be quiet and aware in that moment of thoughts or pictures that spontaneously come into your mind. Take note of those things. You can always ask Him for clarification.
- It can be helpful to write those things down. If you did not feel as though God answered your questions at this moment, do not despair. He will answer your questions!
Continue to go about daily life with an expectant attitude. God uses many ways to answer our questions. He will answer one way or another, at one time or another.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”Romans 15:13
Written by: Cynthia Johnson
Originally appeared on: Drcynthiajohnson.com
Republished with permission