Finding hope in difficult times can be challenging. I have experienced several life-altering events that were extremely hard to face, but each difficult time drew me closer to God.
By searching for rainbows through times of trouble, I have learned to lean on Him and hold onto the hope only He can provide.
Finding Hope in Difficult Times: 9/11
It was a clear warm day when I started the dreaded task of potty training my 2 1/2-year-old daughter. I don’t know why that memory sticks–probably because of how the rest of the day unfolded.
We were headed outside for a walk when I heard my house phone ringing. I quickly answered as my frantic husband said, “have you seen the news?
The World Trade Centers in New York have been hit and all flights have been suspended. I am stuck at the airport.”
I clearly remember that moment when my reality shifted; the fear and confusion. I had 2 small children and worried about the new world they would be facing.
Uncertainty and angst attempted to swallow me. In the months that followed we waded through the disturbing news and changes but made it to the other side of 9/11. We were able to find hope in hard times.
Finding Hope in Difficult Times: Hurricane Katrina
It was a usual Friday night for our family as we gathered for games and Chinese food with some of our close friends.
Halfway through our evening, a cell phone rang, “Have you checked the latest track on that big hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico? It is headed straight for New Orleans and is predicted to have devastating effects. Everyone needs to evacuate.”
I clearly remember that moment when my reality shifted once again. As we packed up and left our home behind, we never imagined the devastation that would follow.
We lost most of our material things but waded through change again. This time with a much greater impact on our family, but we survived to the other side of Hurricane Katrina. We were able to find hope in hard times.
Finding Hope in Difficult Times: Pandemic
In February 2020, at the end of a family vacation, we scrolled through the news on our phones following a new virus that was sweeping across China.
The predictions were that the virus would spread across the world and have dire implications. I thought surely, we won’t face a pandemic across the globe.
For a third time, this was the moment my reality began shifting. This time it felt bigger, but maybe because the feelings are fresh as we slowly adapt to the process of battling this crisis.
Although these life-altering events were very different, the feelings have been very similar. The raw vulnerability and numbness as if walking around lost. Sometimes, finding hope in times of trouble seems out of reach.
The hovering fear waiting to pull us in and cause us to lose our way. The lack of control and uncertainty of how these events will impact our family and community. The grief and sadness of what is lost.
I look back and wish I could have known the beauty that would come from the ashes; the positive outcomes that would emerge in so many areas of life.
Since that is impossible, I am hoping to learn from these past experiences and process better with whatever I face. To grow spiritually and relationally and be better at learning to find hope in difficult times.
How do You Have Hope in Troubled Times?
Searching for rainbows during a crisis, helps us have the hope that good can emerge, but it is hard to recognize in the midst of a struggle.
How do you have hope in troubled times? Here are 6 things we can do:
- We can be present and rest in His comfort.
- We can push the fear out of our head and march on in hope.
- We can notice the plight of those around us and serve others which helps take the focus off of ourselves.
- We can discover how this situation is transforming us into Christ’s image.
- We can embrace the slowing down of our routine and sing praises to God.
- We can look for positive outcomes that may come from this situation.
Finally, we can search for rainbows trying to peek through the horizon. The rainbow may come in the form of an encouraging word or deed from a friend or a sign of hope from God.
Bible Verses about Hope in Hard Times
The Bible is the place I turn to when looking for hope in hard times. There are many verses that can provide peace and comfort. Here a few Bible verses about finding hope in difficult times that I like to meditate on:
“Provide for those who grieve:to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.”
“Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you.”
“The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see.”