Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
I grew up with a saying etched in my values: “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” So, when the going gets tough, I make a plan, set my goals, and blaze ahead to make the tough go away. The problem is, in this season of life, my usual tactics of self-dependence just leaves me sitting on the floor, exhausted, overwhelmed, and crying.
You see, some seasons in life are tougher than even the toughest can handle. Whatever your situation, whether family issues, work, finances, or health challenges, there is hope to have the strength enough to handle the blows. Here are a few key practices to turn to when the going gets tough.
- Be joyful in hope. Nothing makes the hard situation harder than a sucky attitude. I am the best at building up my home with love and encouragement… and the best at becoming a dark vortex of lifelessness. There is always hope when we turn to the Lord in our touch places. Always. God can do anything.
- Be patient in affliction. Patience is not my virtue… just ask my mom, lol. But, patience is something required of a daughter of the Most High God when we encounter situations more than we can bear. God works in His timeframe that accomplishes His purposes in the way that brings Him the most glory. For me, that usually means He does not work on my time clock and often in the way I think He should. As we endure and suffer, we must lean in and trust His plan with patience. Impatience can turn us inward towards bitterness, anger, hatred, and even rejecting God altogether.
- Be faithful in prayer. Read Ephesians 6 when you have a moment. Prayer is the offensive strategy of God’s kingdom. When we pray, we advance against the enemy and we invite God’s power, strength, and goodness into our tough places. The awesome thing about prayer too: you can do it anywhere at any time. So pray and then pray some more. You can pray with your eyes open, or on your knees, or walking the dog, or driving your car, or lying in bed. Pray through your tough place, and watch it transform into a place of beauty and unity with our Heavenly Father.
This sounds a bit like pious platitudes, I know. Because I am in a tough place right now and I am writing this post for me.
You might say, “But, you don’t know…. Fill in the blank.”
No, I don’t. But I do know hard… and broken… and hopeless… and fearful… and grief… and doubt. I do know being at the end of all my toughness and needing God’s strength. He is ready to meet each of us here, in the dark places and take us to where His glory dwells.
Will you join me?
-Seana Scott (find her at http://www.SeanaSScott.com or www.facebook.com/seana.s.scott)