4 Truths for Navigating Difficult Seasons
“Even to your old age and gray hairs, I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you, and I will rescue you.”
- Isaiah 46:4
Have you ever walked through a difficult season that seemed unending? To patiently endure a lasting season of suffering is not necessarily my idea of fun. But the reality is that some seasons of suffering ARE long. Sometimes they do seem unending as we wait on God to do what we know only he can do. To heal, to restore, to redeem. We know he is able, and we know he is faithful, but what do we do in the meantime? How do we get through these seasons that sometimes go on far longer than we think we can bear?
Today I want to share a handful of truths with you. Truths that I have told myself many times over during difficult seasons. A season I find myself in, even now, as I grieve a recent miscarriage and navigate life with infertility, all while wondering what God is doing through my pain. If I could, I’d take each of you out for a cup of coffee so I could hear your story and share my heart but since that isn’t feasible, let me share a few things here that have helped me find grace in the suffering as I lean into the Lord for healing and restoration.
1️⃣ God Sees You. Gen 16:13
When you are in a season of suffering, this doesn’t always feel true, but I assure you it is. God understands your pain intimately. He was with you when you lost your baby. He was beside you when your marriage ended in a divorce that you didn’t want. He goes before you as you wait for your future spouse to come into your life. He is behind you while you suffer for doing good. You are not forgotten, and he is there ready to fill you with grace and love and peace and even joy. During a season of suffering, I know it can be effortless to believe the lie that you are unseen. But please hear me on this: Not for a moment has He forsaken you. There is not one tear that you have shed that does not matter to Him. He is with you, and He is caring for you, even in your overwhelming situation.
2️⃣ Your worth is not found in what you lost. Phil 3:8
When you lose something or someone important to you, it can consume you. It’s easy to place our worth in being a parent or spouse, having success professionally, or even in what we see when we look in the mirror. But if all of that is stripped away, we do not lose our worth because our truest worth comes from Christ alone and who He created us to be. We may find ourselves in an intense season of suffering, but we do not find ourselves unworthy. We were fearfully and wonderfully made in his image, and that means we are loved, cherished, and worthy in every high and every low.
3️⃣ Everything that God allows to enter your life is to draw you closer to Him. Ps 73:28
Nothing happens in your life that does not pass through the hands of Jesus, and everything He allows is there to draw you closer to Him. Timothy Keller once said, “In the light of the cross, suffering becomes purification, not punishment.” God is refining and sanctifying us and in that is grace upon grace. Even if you have not cried out to Him in a very long time, He will not ignore you. He will meet you on your knees in the middle of the night when you cannot take one more thing, and he will fill you with His peace.
4️⃣ Nothing is wasted. 2 Corinthians 1:3–5
God does not want to waste any of our sufferings. However, God does tell us what we must do as we wait on Him, seeking Him wholeheartedly. While He does not want to waste even one second of our pain, we can undoubtedly waste it on our own by choosing to respond in a way that leads us away from Him. When we respond well to suffering, it can point others to Jesus. And just as God comforts us, we can encourage and help others. When we follow the ways of Jesus through suffering, we display the grace of God to the world around us, and we may very well walk out of the fire with a heart that looks more like His.
Everything that God has allowed into your life is to draw you closer to Him.
If you find yourself in a season of suffering, commit to speaking the truth to yourself. Say it out loud. Write it down. Post it on your walls. Store up God’s word in your heart. God sees you. Your worth is not found in what you have lost. Everything that God has allowed into your life is to draw you closer to Him. Nothing is wasted. And though you may walk through some treacherous valleys, His goodness and mercy WILL follow you all the days of your life.
Written by: Samantha Johns
Published by Woodside Bible Church, www.woodsidebible.org