Friday, January 29, 2016

5 Steps to Peace when Life Hurts

Note, this post is drawn from sections of my Bible Study, Storms of Life.

See, I [the Lord] am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wilderness. Isaiah 43:19

This is one of my favorite verses. Look at the verbs God uses:
I am doing…
I am making…

God is at work, even when we are in difficult times. It brings hope when I am struggling through a desert or wilderness.

But there’s a question in this verse that is a struggle in and of itself: Do you not perceive it?

I want God’s action to be sudden! I want to be delivered from the desert…now!
I want to be refreshed with streams of water…now!

But God works in bits and pieces and He asks, “Don’t you see my blessings even though you are in the midst of the hard times?”

How do we lift our heads to see blessings when we are overwhelmed by our circumstances? When every day is as hard as the one before with no end in sight? God has taught me some ways to find his touches of light even in the dark. I hope these will help you if you are in a difficult situation.

1. One day at a time! 

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  Isaiah 43:18
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Matthew 6:34

It’s hard not to think back on the hard days that have gone before, especially if today seems to be more of the same. It’s even more dangerous to focus on tomorrow and slip into depression. Look at God today. Lift your eyes to Him right now. Ask for His guidance for the next hour and relax in His love. One step at a time.

2. Look for simple blessings.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down form the Father of the heavenly lights. James 1:17

It’s hard to see good gifts when life is in pieces around your feet. God’s goodness is often in the little things. A child’s smile, an excited puppy meeting you at the door, an inspirational song on the radio, a friend’s phone call or card. Quiet things that make you smile. As you go through your day, ask God to touch you with His good gifts. Allow Him to open the eyes of your heart and to show you His tenderness.

3. Praise God!

Praise be to the LORD, for he showed me the wonders of his love when I was in a city under siege. Psalms 31:21 
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. Ephesians 1:3

Maybe you feel like you are under siege. Your thoughts, your emotions, your life are all under attack. Make the choice to praise Him, praise Him for the wonders of His love, the small things that He poured into your days. Think about the blessings He revealed to you when you looked for the small things.

Above all, praise Him for His unimaginable love that sent His Son to the cross to cleanse you from your sins. Praise Him for the power that raised Jesus from the dead and gave you the sure gift of eternal life. Regardless of your circumstances, your salvation is secure. You are His beloved child, forever!

4. Stand on God’s Truth.
It’s easy to choose verses that demand God to deliver you and read them to Him as though they apply to your specific situation. I have done it more than once. But there are promise that are true in any circumstances. As you read through these, allow God’s assurances to warm your heart.

And surely I am with you always, to the end of the age.  Matthew 28:20

God, who is enthroned from of old, who does not change. Psalm 55:19 

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8

The faithfulness of the LORD endures forever. Psalms 117:2

The LORD is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does. Psalm 145:13

The one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 1 John 4:4

The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. Psalm 28:7

5. Safety in Numbers

We’ve all watched the documentaries on Africa. A weak animal is separated from the herd and becomes a lion’s lunch. Satan uses the same tactic with us. When I’m struggling, I tend to hide. I don’t get together with friends, I pull out of church. I separate myself from my source of encouragement and safety and leave myself open to fear, doubt, and hopelessness.

Surround yourself with prayer partners. Turn to your church family for love. Share your needs and help others carry their burdens. God created us to need each other. Those who love us are huge blessings. Submerge yourself in this precious treasure.

There are so many things that help carry us through hard times. Above all, remember this:

Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD himself, is the Rock eternal. Isaiah 26:4

Share with us things that give you strength during times of suffering. 


  1. Sherry - thank you for always pointing out the rocks in scripture to stand on.

    1. God's Word is our foundation! Thanks for commenting!

  2. Thanks Sherry for the beautiful encouragement during those times when our lives are broken and full of pain. I loved the way you highlighted Scriptures to remind us of God's faithfulness and Christ's purpose for our eternal lives. I use many of them to help guide me out of the suffering and into God's love. Great post!

    1. God's Word is always such an encouragement, Walter. I have several verses written on cards and taped to my desk. They keep my going when days are hard. Thanks for commenting!

  3. This post contains such great advice, Sherry. I especially like to challenge myself to praise God when I'm in the midst of a storm. I always manage to find a reason and a way to praise Him, no matter what is going on. Thank you for this encouraging lesson.

    1. Some days, it is a challenge to praise God! But, if we open our eyes, so many reasons to praise Him are all around us. Thanks for stopping by, Connie!

  4. Replies
    1. Thank you for stopping by, sweet friend!

  5. Sherry, thank you for these helpful things. They focus our attention on God, don't they? Instead of the trials. I like to listen to Christian music, pray, be with family and friends, and just be still and remember God is with me. His fellowship has sustained me through some emotional times this past year.

    1. Just be still - that's so important and, sometimes, so hard. Thanks for commenting, Katy. See you soon, sweet friend!

  6. Thank you! Indeed, He is doing, He is making a way in the desert and streams in the wilderness.

    1. God is always at work, isn't he, Harvey? Thanks for visiting!

  7. Such great advice! My pastor always references 2 chronicles 20 and says that praise confuses the enemy. I try to always keep that in mind and find a reason to praise even in the midst of trying times. He is always good.

    1. That chapter is a wonderful story, Meagan! "The battle is not yours but the Lord's" I love it! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  8. A beautiful post Sherry. And it works... we just have to remind each other to walk it out. I love your first step, and I have days when I have to start over... and over... 1 day, 1 hour, 1 minute at a time. Thank you for your teacher's heart.

  9. We all have to start over, and over... don't we, Deb? God is there for each new beginning. Thanks for stopping by!

  10. Such a great post Sherry and spot on with your tips. Last year had some hard challenges but I definitely know God WILL see us through every time!

  11. He does walk with us every step of the way. Thanks for commenting, Mindy!