Tips To Find The Light When Times Get Tough
If life is tough right now and you’re needing to find hope in suffering, you’ve come to the right place.
Suffering is not for the faint of heart. Hard times can knock you down, making it very hard to stand.
Trust me. I know.
As someone who trusts in God and believes that He is in control, I still struggle to understand and accept hard things that are happening in my life.
Life is hard, but God is faithful.
That is a statement that has been very true for me and my family at times.
I’d like to share with you 7 ways to find hope in suffering and fight the darkness that seems to loom.
There can be dark moments, dark days, even dark years.
I want to encourage you to find the light in the midst of the darkness by turning to God and clinging to Him!
Let’s learn and grow together!
7 Ways To Find Hope In Suffering
- Read The Bible
- Remember God’s faithfulness
- Social Media Fast
- Support Group
- Read Books
- Practice Gratitude
Also, if faith is not something you’re comfortable with, that’s okay.
I’d love for you to read the article anyways because I truly believe you will be encouraged. It’s a hope-filled message!
*This article contains affiliate links which means I may make a small commission from any items that you purchase.
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1. Read The Bible
One of the best ways to find hope in suffering is to read the Bible.
Sounds very simple, but it’s so true.
The Bible is one of our greatest gifts and tools in life. It is filled with words that challenge us, guide us, and comfort us when we are weary.
Personally, I’m not sure how I would have gotten through these past 5 years apart from reading and believing God’s Word.
The past 5 years have been filled with hard things (but not all at one time): financial stress, living with family, job loss, secondary infertility, and strained relationships with those we love dearly.
All that to say, it’s been rough and felt very heavy at times.
God’s goodness is not dependent on my circumstances, but on His unchanging character.
My circumstances and feelings may change, but God doesn’t! He is constant. (Hebrews 13:8)
I’ve come to realize that so much good has come from the hard times.
Spending time reading the Bible has anchored my heart, reminding me of who God is and what He has done.
God’s Word is powerful!
As I’ve navigated various storms, I’ve been reminded of these truths:
- God is my refuge and strength. (Psalm 46:1)
- God will never leave me or forsake me. (Deuteronomy 31:6)
- He is working all things (even hard things) for my good. (Romans 8:28, Hebrews 12:3-14)
- He is not withholding anything good from me. (Psalm 84:11)
- God is for me, not against me. (Romans 8:31)
- There is purpose in my suffering. (Romans 5:3-5)
If you are going through hard times, I encourage you to find hope in suffering by reading the Bible.
I pray you will find comfort, peace, and be reminded of how much God cares for you.
2. Remember God’s Faithfulness
Another great way to find hope in suffering is to remember God’s faithfulness.
How does this help me find hope in my difficult situation?
I heard a speaker say this profound statement once: Remembering God’s faithfulness fuels your faith.
That is 100% true.
Just like you need to put gas in your car to get it going, knowing and believing God to be faithful is the fuel to keep you going towards God when life gets super hard.
Suffering can bring us to very low points where we doubt God’s goodness, even His presence at times.
Rather than focusing on the things that aren’t happening, dwell on things you know to be true, like who God is (His character) and what He has done (His faithfulness and fulfilled promises).
Focus on what you have, not what you feel you are lacking.
When you are doubting that God cares, remember that God is faithful. He knows everything about you and it all matters to Him. (Psalm 139)
God is a promise-keeper and if you belong to Him, then nothing can snatch you out of His hand or separate you from His love. (Romans 8:39)
God is in complete control and is always at work. (Romans 8:28)
May those truths bring you peace.
I know they’ve brought peace to my life when things have been chaotic.
There have been many times where I’ve preached truth to myself because my mind was a clouded mess of worries, fears, and sadness.
Find hope in suffering by focusing on God’s character and promises to you.
Let it be a healing balm to your weary soul.
To find hope in suffering when you’re scrambling to see the light, you need to pray.
In Philippians the apostle Paul says this: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
I love that after we pray, Paul mentions that peace will guard our hearts and minds.
For me, my mind is a battlefield and I need all the support I can get, especially when trudging through rough patches.
To know that by speaking my prayers and requests to God He will in turn grant peace to my mind and heart, is very reassuring.
God wants us to pray to Him, sharing the depths of our soul.
He cares about it all.
This is something that I’ve talked about with Addie, my almost 7 year-old.
Oftentimes when something is troubling her, she will ask either me or Jesh to pray for her. She knows God hears her prayers and cares about her!
If you want to help your kids through hard times, teach them about the value and power of prayer!
I’ve never prayed before. What if I say the wrong thing?
That’s definitely a fair feeling.
My advice? Just start talking.
Talk to God like He’s right there…because He is.
Share what’s on your mind and be honest.
4. Social Media Fast
Trust me on this one. Fasting from social media can be a great tool to find hope in suffering.
Why is this true?
Because all of the time that you’d normally spend “escaping” from your situation on social media, you can fill your mind and life with healthier options.
I know from experience.
I took a break for almost a year from social media because I needed to declutter my mind and heart.
As I was struggling with infertility and going through financial hardship, I found that spending time on social media caused ugly feelings in my heart.
Jealousy, discontentment, anger, and bitterness just to name a few.
Rather than spending time comparing myself to others for countless hours, I was able to channel my energy into other activities.
It was so nice to be away from all of that pressure to be a certain way, have the right number of kids, and live in the perfect neighborhood.
I think social media has a tendency to create a false sense of reality where we only post the best things that have ever happened to us.
When I’m going through hard times, I don’t want to see fake people living fake lives.
I want the real stuff!
Vulnerability from honest people who are struggling just like I am has been so refreshing.
If you are trying to find hope in suffering, I encourage you to take a social media fast and fill your time and mind with healthier things.
Your mind and heart will thank you!
5. Support Group
To find hope in suffering, sometimes it helps to be with people who are navigating similar circumstances.
Are you dealing with the loss of a loved one? There’s a great program through many churches called Grief Share.
You could also find a support group on Facebook.
While navigating infertility, I’ve found 2 support groups on Facebook.
There’s something strangely comforting about hearing other people’s stories who are on similar journeys as I am, even if I’ve never met them.
Sometimes it just takes one person to share and it creates a domino effect of people opening up.
This has been true for me.
When I first published my blog there was an article about infertility that I posted.
I received messages, texts, and comments from people in my life thanking me for sharing my story because they were on similar journeys. I had no idea!
Another amazing thing about sharing your story with others is that it connects you in a very deep and meaningful way.
When you’ve walked in other people’s shoes, there’s a level of understanding you have for one another that doesn’t exist with someone who’s never been through it.
Find hope in suffering by joining a support group or sharing your story with others.
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6. Read Books
Read books? Really?
Hear me out, I promise.
As I’ve navigated rough waters, I have found so much hope through reading other people’s stories of suffering.
A favorite book of mine is Joni: An Unforgettable Story, by Joni Eareckson Tada. She’s lived as a quadraplegic for over 50 years and continues to point others to Christ as the source of her greatest hope.
Her faith is strong, secure, and anchored in God.
And she has battled her fair share of doubts!
As I read her story, I was so encouraged by her honesty through the darkness she’s faced.
At almost 70 years-old Joni still loves the Lord and wants others to know about her hope in Christ. She has helped millions of people with disabilities find hope again.
Read more about her story and mission in life here.
If you want to read her book, get yourself a copy!
I read this statement in an article one time that really stuck with me, and it reminds me of Joni’s life:
Sometimes God chooses the most faithful of His servants to carry the heaviest burdens.
When you are walking through trials, you have a unique light shining on your life. People are watching how you respond.
People have been watching Joni respond for over 50 years, ever since her diving accident at 17 years-old.
To many Christians, Joni is counted among their heroes of the faith!
If you are looking for hope in suffering, I encourage you to read books from others who are struggling.
Let their stories of great faith in the midst of horrific struggles direct your heart closer to God.
Here are a few other books that I’d highly recommend if you’re going through a hard season. You can snag any of these on Amazon today.
- Walking Through Fire by Vaneetha Rendall Risner
- The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom
- Suffer Strong by Katherine and Jay Wolf
- A Praying Life by Paul E Miller
- The Gift of Forgiveness by Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt
- The Scars That Have Shaped Me by Vaneetha Rendall Risner
7. Practice Gratitude
I saved the best for last.
An attitude of gratitude goes a long way when it comes to your mindset.
One temptation when you’re going through hard times is to focus on everything that’s not happening as opposed to everything that is happening.
A great way to practice gratitude is to write your gratitudes down or share them aloud with someone.
In our family, we say our gratitudes at night.
Each person has to say one thing they’re thankful for and then we pray as a family.
It has been a great exercise, not just for me, but for Addie and Jesh too.
When I’m struggling with my personal thoughts, dwelling on all that I wish would happen in my life, I’ve found that naming things I’m thankful for helps my mindset to shift.
Here’s an example of how powerful our thoughts can be…
Defeating Thoughts: rooted in fear and wrong thinking
- God doesn’t love me
- Addie will be an only child forever and have no one to play with
- Our situation is never going to change
- Did I do something to cause this hardship?
- Everyone’s life is so much better than mine
- When will this suffering end?
- Does God even hear my prayers?
Life-Giving Thoughts: rooted in truth and faith in God
- God loves me and cares about me
- He hears my prayers and answers them
- Addie is happy, healthy, and so much fun
- God has provided in AMAZING ways these past 5 years
- He is working everything for my good
- My faith has been strengthened, tested, and refined
- I am closer to God now than I ever have been in life
Do you see how helpful gratitude is and how influential our thoughts can be?
My defeating thoughts only produce discontentment, bitterness, and despairing feelings. They only lead to a weaker faith.
Naming the gratitudes and blessings helps my mindset shift towards God and His goodness.
This exercise helps to remind me of the many blessings from God that are overflowing in my life.
How can I not walk away from a gratitude list with anything other than thankfulness and praise to my faithful and loving Father?
Naming the blessings won’t make the hard times go away, but it should help your overall outlook of the situation.
If you want to find hope in suffering, name the good that you can see.
You will be amazed at all of the blessings that God has already given!
Let’s Wrap Things Up!
Thanks for hanging with me through this post!
For all my note takers out there, here is the list one more time:
7 Ways To Find Hope In Suffering:
- Read The Bible
- Remember God’s Faithfulness
- Social Media Fast
- Support Group
- Read Books
- Practice Gratitude
If you’re walking through hard times, I am so sorry. Please know that you’re not alone.
I encourage you to go to God with your worries, fears, and desires.
He loves you more than you know.
Don’t let the heaviness of your burdens and struggles keep you from clinging to God’s goodness and faithfulness.
By practicing some of these tips, may your heart and mind be more hope-filled as you continue to trust in God.
I’ll leave you with this quote from Corrie ten Boom, who knew extensive suffering, but continued to hope in Christ.
Lots of love to each of you!
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” ~Romans 15:13
Cover Photo by John Towner on Unsplash