Getting Through a Tough Time and Coming Out Better On the Other Side
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Romans 8:28 (NLT)
A good friend of mine is going through a tough time right now. She’s brokenhearted and grieving tremendously about some of the bad things that are happening to and around her. I’m not at liberty to share the details, but I know all of us can relate to feelings of us loss, grief, betrayal, defeat, loss of hope, despair, confusion…the list could go on and on. Sometimes things happen in our lives that we don’t see coming. Things that knock us off of our feet and take our breath away. Things that feel crushing. It might even feel like we won’t be able to come back from these awful things.
I’m here to tell you today though that WE CAN! We have a wonderful, powerful, amazing God who can do things greater than you could ever possibly imagine! Don’t lose heart during a tough time. We serve a God that can bring things back from the dead. Those situations, circumstances, and even relationships in our lives that appear to have died…He can resurrect them! We serve a resurrection God.
“That is what the Scriptures mean when God told him, “I have made you the father of many nations.” This happened because Abraham believed in the God who brings the dead back to life and who creates new things out of nothing.” Romans 4:17 (NLT)
It’s okay to be sad…God gets sad too
First, grieving is perfectly okay during a tough time. It’s okay to be sad. We’re not a “bad Christian” if we’re not happy, positive and hopeful ALL the time. We’re human, and God knows that. In fact, God made us in His image (Genesis 1:27). So guess what that means? We’re a lot like God. Did you know He gets sad and grieves too?
“Since he himself has gone through suffering and testing, he is able to help us when we are being tested.” Hebrews 2:18 (NLT)
“Oh, how often they rebelled against him in the wilderness and grieved his heart in that dry wasteland.” Psalm 78:40 (NLT)
“Oh, how can I give you up, Israel? How can I let you go? How can I destroy you like Admah or demolish you like Zeboiim? My heart is torn within me, and my compassion overflows.” Hosea 11:8 (NLT)
“He looked around at them angrily and was deeply saddened by their hard hearts. Then he said to the man, “Hold out your hand.” So the man held out his hand, and it was restored!” Mark 3:5 (NLT)
“Jesus wept.” John 11:35
“As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it” Luke 19:41 (NIV)
“So the LORD was sorry he had ever made them and put them on the earth. It broke his heart.” Genesis 6:6 (NLT)
“And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.” Ephesians 4:30 (NLT)
Don’t stay sad…Encourage Yourself
Now we know that it’s okay to be sad at times. Even God gets sad and can empathize with us in every way. It’s okay. We can just sit and have a good cry. Our Heavenly Father will sit right there with us holding us as we do. But…it’s only for a season…joy will come again. This tough time won’t last forever.
“…Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.” Psalms 30:5 (NKJV)
We can’t stay sad. It’s not healthy. After a period of grieving (which will be different for each person), we need to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, as the saying goes. Previously, I wrote a post titled “10 Ways to Get Through a Hard Time”. In that I mentioned that a very wise friend once told me, “It’s okay to go through the valley. Just don’t pitch a tent and camp there!” We need to learn to encourage ourselves as David did when he was deeply distressed.
“And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.” 1 Samuel 30:6 (KJV)
Encourage yourself with this fact…God can make all things new
Our God is a God of restoration! He can fix what the devil breaks (or even what WE break). Not only can He fix it, He can make it even better than it was before it broke! Only God can do that. Relationships can be restored, and wounds can be healed. It just takes willing and obedient participants and often a WHOLE lot of time (thus…a whole lot of patience and grace).
God can cause anything and everything to work for good (Romans 8:28). God can make all things new! This is kind of my life motto! 😉 He can take all of the messed up and broken things in our lives and make them new again.
“Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”” Revelation 21:5 (NKJV)
God can turn anything around. So much so that the devil will wish he had never messed with us! God will take what the devil meant for harm and destruction and use it as a catalyst to do great and wonderful things. God is a master at turning the tables on the devil! It’s even possible that things turn out even better because of or in spite of the bad things happening to us or around us. God can turn things around, and He can do it with flair.
A tough time for Joseph turned around
For example, the devil thought sending Joseph into slavery and imprisonment would harm him. Ha! Wrong move! In spite of AND because of his trials and sufferings, Joseph promoted to one of the most powerful leaders in Egypt. Then, because of that he was able to save his family and therefore a whole nation. It would have been better for the devil to have never messed with Joseph.
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.” Genesis 50:20 (NLT)
A tough time for Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego turned around
The devil probably thought throwing Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego into a fiery furnace would be the end of them and their godly influence on the lives of a foreign nation. Huh uh! God brought them through and out of the fire alive and well. Because of that, the top leaders of surrounding nations witnessed the one true God at work…and you KNOW they all went back to their homes spreading word to hundreds and thousands of people about this God who rescues His people from the fires! The devil would have been better off if he had left Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego alone.
“Then the high officers, officials, governors, and advisers crowded around them and saw that the fire had not touched them. Not a hair on their heads was singed, and their clothing was not scorched. They didn’t even smell of smoke! Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise to the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego! He sent his angel to rescue his servants who trusted in him. They defied the king’s command and were willing to die rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. Therefore, I make this decree: If any people, whatever their race or nation or language, speak a word against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, they will be torn limb from limb, and their houses will be turned into heaps of rubble. There is no other god who can rescue like this!”” Daniel 3:27-29 (NLT)
A “tough time” for Jesus turned around (…boy is that an understatement!)
Oh…and then there’s Jesus! I bet the devil thought killing Jesus would do away with him for good. Wow, was he wrong! That’s the biggest turning the table on the devil move that God made! God restored Jesus back to life…and with him…the WHOLE WORLD! Because He died, we now can live. I bet Satan regrets that move.
“But God released him from the horrors of death and raised him back to life, for death could not keep him in its grip.” Acts 2:24 (NLT)
“God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:17 (NLT)
Take Some Practical Steps to Get Through a Tough Time and Come Out Better On the Other Side:
First, it’s okay to be sad and grieve for a time.
You’re not alone. God is right there grieving with you.
Next, don’t stay sad—find ways to encourage yourself.
After a period of grieving, pick yourself up. Start doing things to encourage yourself. Read some ideas of how to do that here.
Then, tell yourself that God makes all things new.
Remind yourself of this whenever you start to feel sad, hopeless, confused or lost. Go back and re-read the stories in the Bible of where God turned the tables on the devil. Remind yourself of those times in your life where you also came out of a tough time even better on the other side.
Finally, just keep praying during this tough time. Your prayers are so powerful!
Don’t lose heart. God is bigger and HE will win! It’s going to be okay. You aren’t going to be defeated! Remember, God uses unlikely and broken people. God can and will still use messed up people and messed up circumstances. Maybe even in a greater way than ever before.
That thing, that situation, that circumstance, that relationship that is hurting you and making you feel hopeless, confused and lost…it won’t win.
You, my friend, are an overcomer! If you let Him, God will take this thing and turn it around into something that will heal, help, and restore many, many lives. The devil will wish he had never messed with you!
“But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.” 1 John 4:4 (NLT)
“So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.” 1 Peter 1:6-7 (NLT)
“Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.” Psalm 27:14 (NIV)
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NLT)
How do you go through a tough time and come out better on the other side? Share with us by leaving a comment below.
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If you know anyone that could benefit from this, please pay it forward! Email it to a friend or share this post via the sharing links below. “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NIV)