A Prayer to Finish a Season of Hardship Well - Your Daily Prayer - June 23

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A Prayer to Finish a Season of Hardship Well
By Jessica Van Roekel

"Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character, and character, hope." Romans 5:3-4, NIV

Life provides a variety of experiences. Some create treasured memories, like the day we attained a long-awaited goal, held our child in our arms, or finally broke a negative cycle. Other life experiences leave us broken. We want to forget, yet the wounds make it impossible. In those times, it’s tempting to look at suffering through the lens of “Why me?” Or we point our finger at God and demand to know why he didn’t do something. We turn our backs and forget about the suffering our Lord knew and the comfort he can extend to us in our seasons of hardship.

Hardship is part of this life. It comes to those who know Christ and to those who do not. Difficulties do not favor one person over another, even though it may look like that sometimes. Because of Christ in us, we have the glorious opportunity to look at seasons of suffering through a different lens. Distress and affliction can be one of the blessings of our relationship with God through Christ because of what it produces in our life and the benefits it brings.

The difficulties and troubles we face can look like pressures from our work, school, finances, family situations, health challenges, tragedies, sorrows, persecutions, mistreatments, or loneliness. When we dismiss our hardships because they are not as bad as someone else’s, we miss out on the blessings God has for us within our trials.

God assures us of his presence in all things. He enables us to depend on him, and he helps us grow closer to him. We can finish a season of hardship well when we realize we gain strength and maturity. These benefits strengthen our hearts for a future hard season. We know that suffering produces perseverance, which is the ability to endure. This produces character by strengthening our determination to choose to honor God through whatever we face. This strength of character then produces a hope that looks to a future with God.

Jesus will return and make everything new and set things right. In the meantime, while we wait, God pours his love into our hearts through the power of the Holy Spirit to comfort us and bring Jesus’ presence near to us. With the perspective of the good our hardships can create in our lives, we can learn to glory in them because of what God will produce in us.

God uses hardship wonderfully in our lives to create the chain of Christian maturity: perseverance produces character; character produces hope. They build on one another. We don’t need to create hardships or seek them out, but we don’t need to despise them or lose hope when we face them. We can finish our seasons of hardship well because we know God uses them to create in us a maturity which enables us to then encourage others.

Soldiers go to battle, sailors go to sea, runners run, and Christians face their hardships head-on because they allow us to put our faith into action. Seasons of hardship can create feelings of discouragement in our hearts, especially when they have lasted for a long time. The burden of living through them takes a toll on our body, and we may feel weak. But we can finish well if we remember to trust God for the enablement to endure, to choose to live according to his ways, and to look to Jesus, our hope.

Let’s pray:

Holy God,
This season of hardship has been tough. I don’t know if I can make it. I’m trying to rejoice and be glad, but it feels so fake. I know steadfastness comes through trials, but I really want a break from them. I read your Word and feel nothing. I go to church but wonder why. I’m trying to honor you with my thoughts and actions, but I’m tired. Fill me with your comfort and strength. Let your power rise within me and strengthen me to walk this difficult road. I trust you with the timing because I know you are good, and what you do is good. You’ve proven yourself faithful in the past; help me remember your faithfulness. I rejoice in you because you are full of goodness and mercy. Lead me through this hardship and help me finish well. Thank you for how you move in my life. Thank you for what you will do to lead me to the finish line. Let perseverance grow my character and remind me of the hope I have in you. You are with me always and I praise you.
In Jesus’ name, Amen

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Jessica Van Roekel author headshotJessica Van Roekel loves the upside-down life of following Jesus as she journeys to wholeness through brokenness. As an author, speaker, and worship leader, she uses her gifts and experiences to share God’s transformative power to rescue, restore, and renew. She longs for you to know that rejection doesn’t have to define or determine your future when placed in God’s healing hands. Find out more reframingrejectionbook.com You can connect with her on Instagram and Facebook.

Related Resource: Remember God's Enduring Love for You in this Guided Meditation on Psalm 100!

This guided Christian meditation from Psalm 100 will help you experience and praise God for his unending love for you. Become aware of God’s presence with you, and praise God for his loyal and enduring love from the beginning of time and into the future. Listen to every episode of the So Much More Podcast on LifeAudio.com, or subscribe on Apple or Spotify so you never miss an episode!

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Originally published Sunday, 23 June 2024.

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