We’ve all had hard times. Maybe you started a new job or moved to a new place. Maybe you are in a new role that is unfamiliar. Are you adjusting to a new relationship? Are you struggling in your business? Did you start a new season of life?
I know exactly how you feel! I have had seasons of my life like these where I experienced feelings of isolation and loneliness. Because God created us for community, the Enemy of our souls often tries to make us feel alone, like we’re the only one going through it. Just like a lion separates a zebra from the pack, Satan also looks for people to devour.
During those seasons it was all too easy to feel self-pity or doubt about previous decisions. However, I have come to realize by God’s grace that sometimes He leads us into seasons that are harder and seemingly isolated so that we can be developed and prepared for the plans of God in our lives.
Remember These 5 Things to Thrive in Hard Times
1. Jesus was led into hard times by the Holy Spirit.
Luke 4:1 (ESV) “And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness…”
Have you considered that the Holy Spirit could have led you purposefully into this season? Jesus was led into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit. During that time He was tempted by the devil but He overcame through the Word of God and after that time He began His earthly ministry.
Have you ever thought that during these hard times of feeling lonely God is preparing you for the greatest part of your work on the earth? Sometimes we can be so focused on the discomfort of hard times that we can miss the One who guides all our steps, our Heavenly Father.
When my husband and I moved to Haiti in 2015, it was one of the hardest and most lonely times in my life. We didn’t know anyone in the areas we moved to but felt God had called us to make the move. We were originally going to spend 3 months living with a Haitian pastor to adjust to the culture but last minute the plans changed. We prayed and still felt like the Lord was leading us to move to Haiti.
Was it easy? No! Leaving all our country, family, friends, comfort, house, pets, car, food and everything we knew for the unfamiliar was incredibly hard. But, during the time we saw God’s hand leading us. We lived in a community center for a few weeks, then an apartment in a different area for a month, then a huge house partnered with an organization for 6 months, then a different apartment for another 3 months.
We learned to truly follow the Holy Spirit during living in Haiti ministering to people through daily life and prayer as God led. We also self-published our books, grew businesses, learned the language, and built relationships with kids in an orphanage. I don’t share this to brag but to encourage you! God can bring very beautiful things out of hard, lonely times.
I know how painful the hard times of isolation are. It’s uncomfortable. It’s stretching. There is also incredible spiritual warfare just like Jesus faced.
During our time in Haiti we were attacked by the Enemy through people, with fear, worry, anxiety, discouragement, oppression and more.
But looking back I realize the Lord led us into these hard times so we could fulfill His greater plans for our lives. The same is true for you.
2. You are not alone in hard times.
Remember this! Focus on this truth everyday during this season of feeling lonely. You are not alone. Write it down and say it out loud! God is with you. You have brothers and sisters in Christ all around the world who are suffering also. People die everyday for Jesus. People are in prison for Christ. There are believers who are naked and hungry. There are believers in severe poverty.
Even if you feel alone there is always someone who is going through worse. I can guarantee it! You can thrive in hard times!
So focus on the truth that there are angels, the Holy Spirit, family in Christ, and others who are with you! There are people praying for you even if you don’t see them. Scripture says, “we’re surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses..” I imagine a stadium full of people cheering like during the Olympics for you and for me to finish our race in Christ! That is really in heaven! I also believe God lays us on people’s hearts we may not even know to pray and intercede for us during dark seasons.
My husband and I had the pleasure of visiting at one of our home church families a few weeks ago after moving back to the States. A sweet lady shared with us that she’d seen our picture at our friend’s house and felt compelled by the Lord to pray for us at certain times. She shared how she’d heard names like “Jerry” and words like “motorcycle”. I love the Holy Spirit! We knew a friend in Haiti with the name Jerry and we traveled often by motorcycle. We had dangerous situations that we faced often. I know we had our parents, siblings and other church family praying often. But, I was so encouraged that the Lord even spoke to a sister in Christ who we’d never met until after returning back to the States.
We are valuable to the Lord! Don’t for one minute believe the lies of the Enemy that you are alone, no one cares about you or you don’t matter.
Trust Him to protect, shield and help you!
3. This season of hard times is purposeful and useful.
It’s good to focus during times of isolation on the truth that the time is purposeful and useful. Don’t miss this! God is not haphazard with your life or mine. He uses everything! Everything! He is developing strength and perseverance in you! I’ve heard the metaphor of a flower growing. The roots and growth happen deep underground in the dark before any leaves sprout up.
The same is true for us! Sometimes God separates us for deeper growth. When we are comfortable there is not much depth to us! But, when we are in times of isolation there is opportunity to grow so close to the Lord and to those closest to us in the season. My husband and I are so, so close because of what we have experienced in many seasons but especially after living in Haiti.
Many people may not be able to understand how you are feeling, but who is closest to you? Is it your husband? Your children? A family member? A roommate? A friend? Lean in on the fact that maybe there is a reason you are to develop the relationships closest to you in this season.
4. Don’t fall into the trap of self-pity or comparison during the hard times!
During times of isolation don’t focus on how bad you feel or comparing yourself to other people! There is such a temptation to do this. But, it’s wrong and it’s not helpful. Satan loves self-pity and comparison.
It doesn’t matter what other people are doing or what God has called them to do in this season. Focus on what He’s asking of you! It’s not your business or mine what He calls others to do. We are all so different and unique. His assignments are not going to look exactly the same.
Also, know that everyone has hard times and seasons. You never know the whole story of what others are going through.
5. Focus on your blessings in the hard times!
Don’t neglect to thank Him for all the blessings He’s given you. Can you see? Can you hear? Can you walk? Do you have a bed to sleep on? Do you have food and clothing? Than you are blessed! I’m sure you have many more things to be thankful for. Salvation, sunshine, trees, friends, family, and more. There are so many blessings that we’ve been given.
When in a season of hard times it can be difficult to see the blessings, but keep recalling them!
How do you thrive in hard times? Share in the comments below!
I’d like to share some things with you!
- Make sure to get your copy of my book Radiant Purpose here and share it with a friend!
- Subscribe to the Radiant Purpose Youtube Channel here
Stay Radiant! Stay Beautiful!