How to survive hardships without losing your faith or your sanity
Everyone goes through rough times spiritually and in their everyday life, but for some of us, it’s easier to deal with these situations than it is for others. As Christians, there’s a spiritual and extremely reliable set of tools we have available for us to better deal with these situations and to overcome them successfully.
Whether you’re going through a small inconvenience or feel like you’re in a time where your patience and faith is being tested, you need to keep your faith and perspective in the right place. People in general can easily lose focus of their goal when they’re going through rough times, Christians however, need to root themselves in Jesus and pull strength from their faith in the Lord.
During these times people tend to make mistakes in the way they deal with their situations and Christians aren’t exempt from this. That’s why I’ll be sharing a few tips with you today that will hopefully help you remain strong during your current problems and trials.
Understand that things you can’t handle can and will happen
I’ve heard people find peace in the saying that “God won’t give you more than what you can handle”. It’s a nice saying and it has a nice sentiment behind it, it attempts to give you hope and keep you focused on the fact that God will constantly try to push your boundaries, but won’t go beyond them.
However, not all your situations in life will be spiritual trials sent to test your faith, spiritual stamina and the bible stories we’ve learned to love prove this saying wrong. The bible is replete with story after story of people being pushed beyond their limits!
The most glorious stories in the bible are of men and women in service of God who found themselves pushed past their limits and that only managed to survive their situations because they held on to faith and refused to quit even though they realized they didn’t have the skills to fully overcome their hardships.
By now, you’ve probably quoted and found in your bible the verse that says:
“No temptation has overtaken you except what 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” (1 Corinthians 10:13).
However, temptations and hardships aren’t one and the same. A temptation is an invitation to sin, it’s something you can choose to do or refuse to do. A hardship on the other hand, will almost always be something you can’t stop from happening or from affecting you.
Prayer is a powerful way to stay calm
Praying during times of hardship can give you a space to speak up your mind with God and know that he listens and cares about what you’ve got to say. Prayer gives you a space to say thank you for the ways in which you’ve been blessed and to ask for solutions and ideas on how to solve your issues.
However, don’t exclusively pray for solutions, remember to also pray for strength to handle the situation you’re going through efficiently and for wisdom to find the solutions yourself or to learn new and important life lessons from the situation you’re in at the moment.
Sometimes the right mindset will help solve your problems
Some people like to see every challenging issue as a trial and a spiritual tribulation. Life in general isn’t easy and while there will be times when your spiritual faith and emotional stamina is being tested, that isn’t always the case. Thinking of every challenging situation as a trial might keep you in a state of mind where you’re thinking like you’re constantly in a despairing situation and over time, you could end up victimizing yourself.
Looking at difficult situations like they’re big, unsolvable problems can keep you from developing the right skills to quickly solve situations by yourself. God wants you to be able to lean on him for help, but he also wants you to have a level of independence that comes from facing situations head-on.
God looks out for your well-being, but you need to do so as well
Another common mistake people make is to think that during these times of hardship, they can sit and wait for God to solve the situation for them. They’ll pray and they’ll remain faithful that God will come to their rescue, but that’s as far as they go. It’s important to keep in mind that while God does look out for his children and wants what’s best for each one of them, he won’t always solve things in one swift move.
Most situations need to be dealt with by yourself and sitting around waiting for God to let the pain and the comfortableness of the situation pass won’t help. There’s a verse in James 2:14-17 that perfectly illustrates this.
What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”
When you’re going through a rough time emotionally or in your daily life, you need to do something about it, you need to move and prove to God and to yourself that you’re able to move forward, that you want something better for yourself. Praying and believing that God will protect you and give you strength is only a part of the equation.
Remember its OK to feel like you can’t handle the situation
People often feel like it’s a sin or an act of defiance towards god when they express their pain or when they have moments where they lose hope. It isn’t. God doesn’t expect any of us to be strong and unwavering throughout the whole process. Even Jesus himself prayed to be set free from the hardships he was about to face hours before Judas betrayed him. Abraham begged the Lord to spare his son’s life when God tested his faith, Moises lost his patience during his 40 years of traveling in the desert with the people of Israel, David lost track of his duties as a kind and a son of God and they were all men that God loved and honored. they’re all men whose stories inspire us and show us that God’s love and faithfulness will carry us when we cannot carry ourselves. When we are weak He is strong!
Remember that hardships also make us stronger
It is hard to think of such things when the storms of life are pouring down on us, but in the long term we can all think of one of life’s trials that ended up making us stronger in the end. Many of us will even look back and be thankful for those difficult days. We must remember that God will use this time to refine us, if we let Him.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:2-4)
[Featured image from lifehack.org]