Hard Seasons of Life and How to Navigate Them

Hard Seasons of Life and How to Navigate Them

Hard Seasons

 

In hard seasons, do you ever feel like negative thoughts spiral downward and it feels impossible to make your way back up again? Sometimes it seems like things are going great and then they take a hundred-eighty degree turn sideways and you’re left with whiplash. I understand. There are days where I’ve battle thoughts that left me feeling sad and irritated, which made me not so fun to be around.

 

There are three things you can do in hard seasons.

 

Remember God’s goodness

 

Remind yourself that God is good. He has good in mind for you and good thoughts toward you and about you. The Lord calls the stars by name and knows every hair on your head. You are important to him.

“How great is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you, which you bestow in the sight of men on those who take refuge in you. In the shelter of your presence, you hide them from the instrigues of men; in your dwelling you keep them safe from accusing tongues” (Psalm 31:19-20).

 

Reach out to Others in Hard Seasons

 

Reach out to others. Not for them to fill you up, but so that you get out of your heard. Ask them what you can pray for and then pray for them. It’s amazing how when we focus on someone else’s life, our thoughts get reoriented.

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4).

 

Hold onto Faith

 

Be faithful. It’s in those moments when it feels like God is unfaithful that we need to remind ourselves to hold steady and stand firm on the truth we know, not on what we feel. God does not leave or forsake us.

“I do not hide your righteousness in my heart; I speak of your faithfulness and salvation. I do not cancel your love and your truth from the great assembly. Do not withhold your mercy from me, O Lord; may your love and your truth always protect me” (Psalms 40:10-11).

 

Navigate the Hard Seasons with Faith

 

Summer is in full swing and you might be busy with running kids to activities or preparing for your high school graduate to leave the nest. Maybe loneliness is loud in your heart or maybe there’s too much togetherness making you crazy. It’s okay to flip-flop between all the emotions. God is steady and true. He holds onto us when life whips us around and around.

 

A Prayer

 

Holy God,
You are steady and true, a steadfast and faithful God who holds us up when we want to fall, who strengthens our steps when we want to quit our hard seasons, who provides rest when we need to rest. We can trust you with the crazy thoughts that fill our minds. Because of your power within us, we remember your everlasting faithfulness that holds us steady. Move in our hard seasons today. Let your presence be known in our realities, and let us fix our eyes on you–the keeper of the stars, the counter of our hairs, and the savior of the world.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

A Final Thought

 

This blog post is a sample of what I send out to the readers of Grace Notes–a twice a month shot of encouragement from my heart to yours. If you’re interested in signing up to receive these notes, you’ll also receive a free ebook called Kicking Perfect. Sign up here. Thank you for reading and I pray that you God touches your life in a powerful way.

 

Do Scars Have Purpose

Do Scars Have Purpose

Scars have purpose. . .

They really do.
Scars remind us of where we’ve been and of God’s faithfulness. 
They are gifts of proof that God redeems our struggles, despair, and pain.

We are in the week after the greatest miracle that ever happened–Jesus’ resurrection. He conquered death, defeated the grave, and triumphed over the Enemy. It is finished. And yet, there’s more to come. Isn’t that a lovely thought?

The Hope for our Scars

After dawn on Easter, Jesus walked, talked, and broke bread with his disciples. He was whole–no longer the beaten and crucified Savior covered in blood and anguish. Radiant. Splendid. His disciples didn’t recognize him. He spoke to Mary and she knew. He broke bread with the two disciples and they knew. And then, he appeared to a group of disciples and they thought he was a ghost, until he showed them his scars. And then, they knew.

His scars. He still had his scars on his hands and feet. Isn’t it remarkable that Jesus, who rose from the dead with a body broken and beaten, kept his scars. These (along with eating fish) proved to the disciples that he was in fact standing before them, real and true. He kept his scars.

The Word of God

“While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, ‘Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. If is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have'” (Luke 24:36-39).

Sometimes I don’t want the ragged scars that criss-crosse my life. I don’t want the reminders of the pain, sorrow, agony, and doubt. But if Jesus left his scars for a purpose, then my scars have purpose too. And so do yours.

Your scars are a map of how faithful God has been to redeem your circumstances. They can remind you that you found refuge in God. He was your rock when the ground gave way. He fought your battles when you couldn’t fight another day. He enabled you to stand firm when you didn’t think you could.

You grew and matured. You learned things about yourself and God. These are some of the purposes of your scars. But there’s another reason too. They serve as a testimony to others for encouragement and comfort and as a reminder that if God can bring you through, then he can bring them through too.

The Prayer

Lord Jesus,
Thank you for my journey. These scars tell a story of your work in my life. And I am grateful. I am grateful I didn’t walk alone. I am grateful that these scars prove that you were near and guided me through. I give you glory for all that you have done. You redeemed my life from the pit. You turned my mourning into dancing. You gave me new mercies every morning. And when the night lasted a long time, you were there, in the dark, comforting me. I praise you Jesus!
In your name,
Amen

 


A Blessing

May the Lord show you his purpose in your pain.

 

Further Reading

Luke 24

 

YOUR FREE GIFT

 

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