How to Trust God in Hard Times: 5 Powerful Strategies for Overcoming Your Biggest Challenges

I often wonder, what life would look like if we didn’t have to struggle so hard. I know challenges have a purpose.

We don’t like enduring hard times, but our trials and tribulations are good for us. You wouldn’t expect someone who’s endured quadruple amputations to make such a statement.

However, I discovered some simple strategies to know how to trust God in hard times.

The Importance of Knowing How to Trust God in Hard Times

James 1:3-4 KJV says, Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

According to James, the half-brother of Jesus, our challenges are opportunities to test our faith and create patience, which isn’t passive waiting but active endurance.

Our faith is tested through our trials, not produced by them. The end result is spiritual maturity, which is why James encouraged us to count it all joy and see value in our trials.

I can vouch for this. Becoming a quadruple amputee accelerated my spiritual growth.

In 2011 I contracted a flesh-eating bacteria and wasn’t supposed to survive.  But through the power of faith and prayer, the Lord showed us His power.

We don’t always know why things happen to flip our lives upside down.  But if we believe God when He says, all things work together for our good, then we have to trust He has a better plan, even if we don’t like that plan.

Romans 8:28 KJV

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

In the years following my illness and amputations, I spent a lot of time with the Lord with my head bowed in prayer and pouring through my Bible in study trying to figure out what it all meant.

I came to the realization that the things that happen in our lives aren’t always because of something we did.  Sometimes they happen because the Lord has a greater, more powerful plan. And when His timing is right He will show and guide us to the path we are to take.

Today I am using my experience to help women rediscover God’s joy and peace in the midst of life’s storms by growing their faith and being more intentional with Him.

God is using me to impact lives in a way that I never could have imagined.

Let’s take a look at 5 strategies that enabled me to heal, grow, and thrive under incredibly challenging circumstances, and prepared me for this calling. I know they will help you as well.

lady in rain-trust god in hard times

5 Strategies to Trust God in Hard Times

#1 What You Focus On Matters

Having a negative, pessimistic mindset during difficult periods in our lives will only yield more negativity and pessimism.

Where you focus determines the direction you will go.

Imagine that you’re driving a car. If you’re not looking at the road, you’ll most likely take the bumpy detour and end up in the ditch.  The same thing holds true for our thoughts.

I was sad, confused, and stuck in a pity party when I first came home from the hospital with bandages where my hands and feet had been.

Not knowing my role in the family anymore, left me stuck.  I could no longer cook, clean, or do laundry, things I thought were part of my identity. 

Choosing to focus on the things I could do versus what I couldn’t, helped me to move forward in my healing.

–If you want more sadness, focus on being sad. If you want more discouragement or frustration, focus on those things. On the other hand, if you focus on growth and healing, you will heal and grow.

–If you focus on gratitude, you will find blessings in every dark cloud.  And if you seek first the kingdom of God and all his righteousness, you will find fellowship, fulfillment, and even your purpose in God.

#2 Stay Connected to Jesus in Hard Times

I have been through struggles with and without the Lord. Unequivocally, I would much rather do the hardships of life with the Lord by my side. Faith doesn’t solve our problems, It makes them possible to endure.

Having our Creator wrap His loving arms around you as you’re crying, frustrated, and in pain, will give you comfort when you need it the most.

A relationship with Jesus enables you to have comfort, courage, and wisdom in your journey through life. But you can’t just wish for a relationship. It’s important to talk with Him in prayer and learn from His Word. Knowing who He is, His promises, and His character, helps you grow spiritually even through the struggle.

In helping women rekindle their joy and peace with God, I stress the importance of a relationship with the Savior.   Joy and peace, attributes of the Fruit of the Spirit, give evidence of your relationship with Jesus.

Jesus tells us in John 15:5 KJV I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

Just like on a fruit tree, the closer we are to the Vine, the more fruit we will bear.  In this case, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, and self-control are the fruits we bear.

Walking in the power of the Holy Spirit gives us everything we need to endure and trust God in hard times and become more spiritually mature in the process.

#3 Tools to Help you Trust God in Hard Times

Tools are important when learning how to trust God in hard times.

I’m not referring to a hammer or a saw, although when times get tough, who doesn’t want to take a hammer and beat the life out of their hardship? No, the tools I used in my healing and use now in my coaching program, are resources that support you and teach you how to grow closer to the Lord.

These are three important tools to be able to trust God in hard times.

-Prayer

The first place you should go in times of stress, anxiety, or when you need guidance is prayer, which is simply a conversation between you and the Lord. Having daily prayer time should be a regular part of your life.

It’s an incredible blessing to talk to Jesus like you’re talking to your BFF!  There’s truly, no better friend.  You can tell Him anything!

You can’t have a relationship with someone who you never talk to. Yes, He knows what you’re going to say before you say it. But He wants to hear from you, to help you, and He wants you to lean on him.

-Gratitude

“Grateful people are happy people.”

Roy T. Bennett

Gratitude, another powerful tool for your toolbox, is a necessary part of living with love, joy, and peace.  But we don’t always stop and thank the One from whom all blessings flow.

James 1:17 

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”

Counting our blessings is especially important when we’re feeling sad and discouraged.  Philippians 4:6 tells us in everything give thanks. But it also gives us instructions on how to find the peace of God.

“Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:6-7 KJV

A regular gratitude habit will keep you encouraged as you’re learning to trust God in hard times.

Looking back on blessings and answered prayers gives reassurance of everything we have to be thankful for.

So write your blessings down to document everything the Lord has done for you.

-Encouragement

Robert Lewis Stevenson said, “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.”

Kindness and encouragement can go a long way to turning your focus away from what’s wrong and making you focus on the needs of another.

It’s hard to feel sorry for yourself and stay stuck in your woe-is-me mode when you’re helping someone else.

Think about how you feel when you receive encouragement or kindness from another. When you are the giver, the result is just as amazing.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Maya Angelou

Please don’t underestimate the power of a kind word, deed, or encouraging text.

Make it a habit to live by being the hands and feet of Jesus. Live in service to others, loving them as we are commanded, and always putting the needs of others before your own.

These tools will go a long way in helping you through your challenges as you lean on and trust God in hard times.

butterfly-trust God in hard times

#4 Choose and Control Your Thoughts

Knowing how to trust God in hard times means knowing how to take control of your thoughts and beliefs.

As women, we are conditioned to be negative towards ourselves. Many of the negative beliefs we learned as children, get carried into our adult lives.

But God tells us not to be conformed to this world and to renew our minds.

Romans 12:2 KJV

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

As a child of God, He tells us who we are in Christ. The Bible gives us many reassurances of what it means to be His. I especially love the 1st chapter of Ephesians.

When my negative self-talk tells me I am useless because I no longer have hands, God tells me I am chosen, redeemed, and forgiven. It is hard to feel useless with those reassurances from God.

Here’s a simple formula for taking your thoughts captive.

Ask yourself, does this thought align with the truth of God’s Word? If it does, it’s a thought that serves you.  If it doesn’t, replace those lies from the enemy with the truth of God’s Word.

The Holy Spirit helps you confront your old negative beliefs and gives you the power to change them.

#5 Renew And Strengthen Family Connections

It is natural for us to push away offers for help during difficult periods of life. I had to let go of the pride that said, “I can do it on my own.”

Life without hands is very humbling.  It has forced me to accept help with the personal things we often take for granted, like showering and dressing.

God gives us relationships for a reason. But in times of stress or hardship, when everyone has an opinion, it’s easy for those relationships to get damaged.

Forgiveness is so important!

Allowing people into our suffering doesn’t put more burdens on them.  It’s a blessing to them to pray for you, help you, even to cook for you. It’s easy to say no.

But don’t rob friends of their blessing to help.

A new perspective, a shoulder to cry on, or an unexpected meal makes a world of difference.

Accept those offers when they’re given and immerse yourself in the love of those in your life.

Following these strategies for learning how to trust God in hard times will bring you a beautiful life full of spiritual growth, healing, and greater joy and peace through your struggles.

Remember, challenges are important! They’re opportunities to grow in the Lord and to be better witnesses for Him.

Through challenges, God will receive honor, glory, and praise. So don’t frown on them, embrace them.

tree branch-trust god in hard times

Author

Wendy Wallace

You can find Wendy at One Exceptional Life, where she writes about overcoming challenges, spiritual growth, joy, peace, gratitude, and positivity.

Posted in

Wendy Wallace

Wendy Wallace is a wife, mom, Memaw, Christian Living and Positivity Coach, Inspirational blogger, and author. She is also a quadruple amputee. She loves spending time with her family, talking to her flowers, and eating lots of ice cream. A flesh-eating bacterial infection resulted in a coma, a 3-month hospital stay, and amputations of both hands and both feet.  What you might consider the worst thing that could've happened, was for her good and God's glory.  By God's wonderful grace, she is living "One Exceptional Life" where, in true form with 2 Corinthians 1:4, God comforted her in all her tribulations so she can comfort, encourage, and lead other women in theirs. Her mission is to help women rediscover God’s joy and peace in the midst of life’s storms by becoming more intentional with Him.  You can find her at One Exceptional Life, where she writes about overcoming challenges, spiritual growth, joy, peace, gratitude, and positivity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 Comments

  1. Dawn Ward on November 28, 2023 at 10:22 am

    Wendy. Thank you for these helpful and practical pointers on how to trust God in the hard times. It can be cliche to say to someone, “Just trust God.” These tips show us how to implement trust into the difficult circumstances in our lives. I appreciate your heart and willingness to share your story to encourage others. Thank you.

    • Wendy Wallace on November 28, 2023 at 3:21 pm

      i appreciate that so much, Dawn. You’re right, trusting God can be easier said than done. But I have found these 5 strategies to be instrumental not only in my own life, but helpful in the lives of the women I coach.

  2. Esthee Adiele on December 30, 2023 at 4:48 pm

    Thank you for these well thought out strategies. I trust God to help me cultivate each of them. You’re indeed a blessing. God bless you.

  3. Wendy Wallace on January 6, 2024 at 12:20 pm

    Thank you so much, Esthee. God is right there with you as you work through these tips.

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