Hard times suck! We all have to go through them they are part of the human experience; don’t be fooled by peoples boast posts on social media thinking you’re the only one. These seasons come in many forms,
a loss of an Instagram followers (Just joking!) redundancy/ unemployment, loss of a loved one, a break up, loneliness- just to name a few. But one thing that is key to remember during these occasions is that GOD IS WITH YOU and HE HASN’T FORGOTTEN YOU!
I had to be reminded of this, (as I’m currently going through a hard season) whilst reading the story of Joseph. Joseph was wrongfully sold into slavery by his own brothers and accused of a rape crime he didn’t commit against Potiphar’s wife, which resulted in him being thrown into prison. So safe to say Joseph knew about hard times! But one thing that caught my eye was that in the midst of his lowest point, in prison, the bible says that God was with Joseph!
Genesis 39:23 The lord was with him (Joseph) and caused everything he did to succeed.
I know this isn’t the most profound hallelujah, Holy-Sprit fall moment BUT I do think in hard times our thinking can turn towards God being against us and not for us! You may say “ if you knew my situation you would understand, how can God be with me?” I understand that no tough season looks like God is with you but THE TRUTH is that HE IS! Another name for God is Emmanuel which means “God with us”, so remember he is ALWAYS with you.
The Bible also says that the Lord “caused everything Joseph did to succeed”, how is this possible, he’s in prison!? I believe in every season including the hard ones God can cause us to succeed and i believe that the success the bible speaks about here is bearing fruit, Psalms says:
Psalm 1:1-3 (passion translation)
What delight comes to those who follow God’s ways
They won’t walk in step with the wicked,
Nor share the sinner’s way,
Nor sits in the circle of scoffers.
Their pleasure and passion is remaining true to the word of “I AM”
Meditating day and night in his true revelation of light
They will be standing firm like a flourishing tree
Planted by God’s design,
Deeply rooted by the brooks of bliss
Bearing fruit in every season of their lives
They are never dry, never fainting
Ever blessed, ever prosperous
Here we clearly see that no matter what season we are in, in our life if we reflect upon the word of God we can flourish *Bobbie Houston voice* by bearing fruit! In addition i do believe hard times prepare us for the next season in our lives as we see with Joseph who went from prison to palace!
A few tips that help me in hard times:
- Read the Bible- The word of God is a great comfort in times of trouble, (disclaimer please also read when things are good!) I always look up the specific scriptures that apply to my situation . Reading the bible can change our mindset and approach to the situation, for example in prison, Paul was encouraging others when he was going through hard times!?! He said he takes “pleasure in weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong”, 2 corinthians 12:10. *Can we take a minute and clap for brother Paul!* I truly believe he adopted this mindset because he delighted himself in Christ and we can do the same by reading his word.Though you may feel God isn’t speaking to you directly he is always speaking through his word.
- Pray and slay– the bible says, “don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done”, Philippians 4:6. Prayer is our ticket to the throne room of God why not use it?
- Dare to declare– Don’t be defeated by your situation, sometimes the only way out of a hard season is to fight. Declare the truth of the living word of God, when Jesus was tempted by satan in the wilderness, he used the word of God to defeat him. So if you or someone has been diagnosed with a terminal illness declare, “I/they will not die but live, and will proclaim what the LORD has done,” Psalm 118:17. Or if you are dealing with depression declare “for i know the plans [he] has for me declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:1
- friends- None of this “i’m going solo” Beyonce malarkey! I urge you to open up to some friends, especially those who have or are going through a similar situation. Pray, cry, laugh with one another; a problem shared is a problem halved.
If you’re going through a hard season just know that God sees you and is with you, there is a time for everything under the sun and this too will pass!
Below are a couple more scriptures to remind you he is with you!
Isaiah 43:2 When you go through deep waters,
I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
you will not be burned up;
the flames will not consume you.
Romans 12:12 (passion translation) Let this hope burst forth within you, releasing a continual joy. Don’t give up in a time of trouble, but commune with God at all times.