I want to give some advice on a tough subject – How to get through hard times. There are times in our lives that seem unfair, impossible, and just plain hard. Life is not always peaches and cream. Life is not always a bed of roses. Life is more like a box of chocolates – You never know what you are going to get. You never know what life will bring you, or throw your direction. You never know when an attack may come your way. Life is hard!
It’s hard when you’re a single mother trying to raise multiple children by yourself. It’s hard when you’ve been working over 10 years at a company and you get laid off. It’s hard when you have pain in your body every day and no doctor can seem to tell you why they just keep prescribing you pain pills. It’s hard when you get addicted to drugs because of a prescription to pain pills. It’s hard when you feel depressed for no reason. It’s hard when you can’t seem to reach any of your goals. It’s hard when everyone around you tells you that you’ll never amount to anything. Life is hard!
Here is what I have discovered, you will go through things and while you are going through them you can’t understand why it’s happening to you. But after you go through it, you can look back and say oh, now I understand why I needed that lesson. Once you get through a hard time you can then see that it was preparing you for bigger and better things.
Most people want it easy, but “easy come easy go”. Understand that in order to get where you want to go, you may have to endure some hard times.
So you have to be ready, you have to be prepared, and you need a plan of action.
This “How To” post will hopefully give you some tools to be more prepared and some tips to get through the hard times when they come your way.
There is a story in the Bible about a man named Paul who was going through a hard time. He was threatened with death in the city of Jerusalem. He was arrested by the Roman soldiers and locked away in a dark damp cell.
He was bound and escorted under guard to a ship that would take him to Rome, a ship that would face one of the fiercest storms, a ship that would be broken into many small pieces, a ship that would be shipwrecked on a strange island. If that weren’t bad enough, on that island a deadly snake that should have killed him would bite him on the hand.
Paul was going through what you might call a hard time. But Paul, as hard as it is to believe, was exactly where God wanted him to be.
I want you to know that if you’re going through trials, storms, adversities or attacks, it doesn’t mean that you’re a bad person. It doesn’t mean that you did something wrong to deserve it.
In fact, many times, it’s exactly the opposite. Many times it means your right where you need to be.
If your life is comfortable, if you have no problems or hard times, then I would be willing to wager that you’re either a liar or you live in a bubble — The bubble of protection, the bubble of isolation, the bubble of security, the bubble of comfort. The bubble that keeps you from experiencing all this life has for you; the bubble that keeps you from an extraordinary life; the bubble that keeps you from where you want to be.
In my experience in order to achieve, you have to first fail. In order to win you have to first loose. In order to be where you want to be, you have to go through some hard times.
People at the top of their game didn’t get there without going through some hard times.
The difference is, they didn’t let the hard times deter them from their dreams. They didn’t let the hard times keep them from reaching their goals. They didn’t let the hard times bring them down. They used the hard times as a means to achieve the “good times”.
(By the way, you wouldn’t know what good times were if you hadn’t experienced some hard times first).
So the question is how do you get through those hard times?
Well in the story I mentioned earlier there was a man named Paul who was smack dab in the middle of some hard times.
We find him on an island, shipwrecked and bound, cold and wet. The natives of this island are friendly enough to help the survivors of the ship build a fire. When Paul went out to gather some sticks for that fire, he apparently gathered more than just sticks.
But when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and laid them on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat and fastened on his hand. (Acts 28:3)
When you go from being cold to being hot, attacks will usually follow.
And sometimes it feels like it is never going to end. Sometimes it feels like the attacks and the trials and the hard times have latched on to you and you can’t seem to get rid of them.
When the natives saw the creature hanging from his hand, they said to one another, “No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he has escaped the sea, yet justice does not allow to live.” (Acts 28:4)
People are quick to judge you, by the hard times in your life. “I wonder what he/she did?”/ “They probably deserve it”/ “Must suck to be them.”
These ignorant people don’t understand that hard times come just before the good times. Hard times come just before the breakthroughs. Hard times come just before the major accomplishments.
The natives on the island were thinking he might have escaped death in the sea but not this time, death has got a hold of him and he can’t escape this one.” But the Bible says: Paul shook off the creature into the fire and suffered no harm. (Acts 28:5)
He didn’t shake his problem onto someone else. He just shook it off into the fire.
He didn’t call all his friends to ask for help. He just shook it off into the fire.
He didn’t tweet it or post it on Facebook. He just shook it off into the fire.
The enemy, the attacker was hanging from Paul’s hand for everyone to see. But Paul didn’t scream or complain. There is no reference to him even feeling pain.
Because when you’ve been through hard times like Paul has been through, a snakebite ain’t nothing, an attack from the enemy ain’t nothing, a trial ain’t nothing, hard times ain’t nothing. Paul, who once was a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, until he had an encounter with God, was now a converted “man of God” on a mission. And he chose to focus on the mission, not the circumstances surrounding the mission.
When you can shift your focus off of your problems and on to your mission or vision or dreams or goals, you will find that the hard times aren’t as hard as they use to be.
But it takes faith, faith in yourself and in your abilities. Faith in God and the plan He has for you.
The Bible says: If God is for us, who can be against us. When God is on your side, you can just look at that enemy that has attached himself to you and say with confidence I’m a child of God, I’m fearfully and wonderfully made, I’m an overcomer, and I’m on a mission…
So hard times you can’t affect me, you can’t hurt me, you can’t stop me, and you have no power over me… in fact just get off of me.
Whatever has attached itself to you shake it off.
Shake off depression, shake off addiction, shake off lusting, shake off doubts, shake off stress, shake off guilt, shake off insecurities, shake it off!
Don’t run from the hard times face them. Don’t hide from the hard times confront them. Don’t look for an easy way out endure the hard times.
Focus on the mission ahead of you, not the circumstances around you. You have what it takes to get through the hard times. It was born in you. Use it to change your perspective on your current situation. Make a decision to not let hard times hold you back, to not let hard times bring you down, to not let hard times keep you from where you want to be.
Paul went on to do great things on that island and also later in Rome. God used him in a mighty way and he found his purpose. Paul is a great example of how to focus on the mission and the vision instead of focusing on the hard times at hand.
Take this story of Paul and apply it to your own life. Have the faith to look past the hardship, have the faith to look beyond the hard times, have the faith in your creator to get you through. It’s your life make the best out of it, be the best you can be and fulfill your purpose here on earth.
Thank you for reading this blog post, as always I appreciate everyone of you and I pray that God shows you the mission and the vision for your life and equips you with the tools to get through the hard times along the way.
If you enjoyed this post or want more information, please reach out to me by leaving a comment below or contacting me here. If you would like to know more about me please check out my UPlifting Story.