4 ways to turn to God during hard times

 

Today weighs heavily on me. I woke up this morning with the burden of decisions to make, relationships to work on, and loss to grieve. It’s been a difficult year. And for all of my very serious “what could go wrong?” planning, a pandemic did not figure into it. I’ve got a jumble of feelings, and I don’t know what to do with them.

And yet.

Psalm 73:26 NIV “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

I am weary, and I don’t always feel like dealing with the problems in front of me. I’m sad about all the precautions we take for the pandemic and I miss the events that are cancelled. I’m tired of wondering how people feel about me (the root of so many misunderstandings!) I am sick of being a target of the fiery darts of the evil one (Ephesians 6:16.) All of these complaints, though, don’t figure God into the equation. I don’t have the strength for these challenges. But God is the “strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

I am not required to have the strength, but I need to turn to God for it. He will provide it, being my portion forever! I turn to God through:

  1. Prayer. My personality type loves structure, so I like to turn to the Praise/Confession/Thankfulness/Intercession model from Moms in Prayer. Start with praise (which is also the name of a great book by Sally Burke and Cyndie Claypool de Neve), then confess your sins to God. Thank Him for what He has done, then bring your requests to Him. This structure often reminds me that it isn’t about just throwing my laundry list of requests at God, but it is about spending time with my Father who loves me!

  2. Scripture. I don’t always turn to what I need when I need it. Instead of drinking water when I’m thirsty, sometimes I will grab a Coke or a Frappucino. They don’t do nearly as well a job as good old water. I do the same with reading Scripture sometimes. I sort of remember it, or think I’ve read enough inspirational verses scrolling through social media. But it just isn’t the same as reading it myself and allowing time to sit and reflect. I am actively trying to make more time for this in my life.

  3. Talking over my faith with others. This has been limited over the past few months through the pandemic, but I have found fellowship with encouraging people who spur me on to a closer walk with Jesus. 

  4. Serving. Knowing that I can trust Him to be my portion, I don’t have to be only concerned with my own difficulties. First I will take the appropriate and logical steps needed for my trials, not ignoring it or being irresponsible. Then, I can let God take care of my challenges instead of trying to control every detail. I can help others who might need my help. I might be part of being someone else’s portion. 

Having reviewed these steps and asked for God to be the strength of my heart, I don’t feel nearly as alone or pessimistic as I did this morning. The Lord will sustain me! And I pray that you will see how He can sustain you, too!


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