Though we can know a lot of truth from God’s Word in our head, when we encounter a crisis or spiritual battle, we need those powerful reminders deeply planted in our hearts. The best way to prepare for any difficulty in life is before the hardship occurs. As we grow in our relationship with Christ through reading His Word and conversations with Him, we’re more aware of His presence and wisdom for every situation.
Knowing that God is with us in whatever we face gives us renewed strength in remembering we’re never left on our own. And there will be many days that we desperately need that reassurance.
If we’ve lived long enough, we know there’s rarely a warning signal before crisis hits. Sometimes it happens out of the blue — an accident, a diagnosis, or sudden loss. It can send us spiraling into deep grief, confusion, despair, and dark days ahead. But God has the power to bring good even through these hard seasons.
As we journey through the highs and lows of life, here are a few ways to spiritually prepare ourselves in responding to crisis moments.
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1. You will get through this storm.
"But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.” (Job 23:10)
You will come out on the other side of this battle, and God’s Word reminds us that He’ll bring you through “as gold,” tested, tried, and true. He knows your way, and you’re only passing through. You’re not meant to stay stuck in the hard place. You will be changed for the better, stronger, shining, beauty deepened from within.
2. God brings purpose through every painful season and difficulty we face.
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives, and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion – to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.” (Isaiah 61:1-3)
Christ came to bring beauty from ashes. He’s the only One who has the power to turn things around –through the pain or deep sorrow. He heals and restores, He calls us onward, He reminds us that in Him, we have great purpose and hope. There’s beauty and greatness behind every mark of darkness. The ashes of grief will fall away, they don’t stay forever, but His greatness and glory shine forever through every broken place and flaw we’ve struggled through.
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3. You’re never alone.
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” (Isaiah 43:2)
God’s Word doesn't say "if," but "when." Difficulties will happen in this life, it’s inevitable and unavoidable. But God clearly and consistently reminds us that He is there in the midst of it all, especially in the hardest seasons. Daniel still faced the lions. Joseph was still thrown in prison. Job still lost all he held dear. The disciples still faced persecution. Being a believer doesn’t mean we will be kept from every difficult circumstance, but God is faithful to keep us secure. We’re never left on our own to fend for ourselves. Remember that He is always near and promises to be with us.
4. There’s true rest and peace in Him.
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)
God reminds us there will be trouble in this world, but He’s already overcome it all. He’s already victorious. And that same power works in us today, giving us the courage and strength to persevere and overcome. He is the source of our peace and rest, even when life feels chaotic and uncertain. He will keep in perfect peace those who are holding fast to Him.
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5. God is fighting this battle for you.
“The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (Exodus 14:14)
Take courage dear friends who are facing deep battles. God is greater than any enemy we may face in this life. We overcome because He has overcome, and our lives are hidden in Christ. May God cover you with peace, may He bring healing in the face of hard news, may He bring deep, abiding joy that makes no sense to the world, may He bring comfort and care as He wraps you in His arms. The God of miracles fights for you today, and He is Mighty.
6. You can trust God with the things you can’t fully understand.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
God never asks us to figure it all out on our own. He just asks us to trust Him, to recognize His leadership and Sovereignty in our lives. And He promises to make our pathways straight. We may not always see what's ahead, but He does. Trusting God first clears the way for our security to be based solely on Him, not on our circumstances, or other people, not on ourselves, or our own ways of thinking. He’s faithful to lead us and sees the big picture. His timing is perfect even when we start to feel like we’ve been forgotten. No matter how we feel or what our current situation may be, we can be confident that God’s Presence will go before us, paving out pathways, guiding and guarding our steps.
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7. Put on the armor of God.
“Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions, with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” (Ephesians 6:13-18)
God gives specific instructions in his Word; he gives us all we need to stand strong in this life and to keep our eyes on Him. If you’re a believer living like salt and light in this dark world, you won’t go for long without encountering obstacles and attacks the enemy will hurl straight your direction. This battle is real, it’s intense. God’s given us His Word and Spirit, so we’ll have the wisdom to rise above and the protection to stand against the enemy. Paul wrote these verses while in chains, in prison, yet he was not silenced by the attacks from dark forces. Neither should we be. The battles we face may be more about what is unseen than what we see before us. And when we resist the enemy, God’s Word tells us he has to flee.
8. Keep your eyes on Him.
“Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, for what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)
It may sound cliché, but it’s a crucial truth to get us through the darkest times. If we’re only looking around at our current situation, or at what everyone else is doing and saying, we’ll soon be sinking fast in worry, fear, and despair. Lifting our eyes up to the One who saves is the only way to live free when you find yourself in the midst of hard struggles. Don’t be entangled with cares and distress. Leave it at His feet and keep your focus on Christ our King. Nothing is too difficult for Him, and when we choose to look up, we’re constantly reminded of where our true strength and help come from.
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9. Focus on God’s truths.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things…and the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:8-9)
God’s words are living, active, and powerful. They are the only thing that can bring us true peace in this life, especially while in the darkest of night. When we determine to fill our hearts and minds with the right things, with His truth and words, then the wrong things and the enemy’s lies won’t have any room to enter. Though it sounds simple enough, it can be difficult to walk out if we’re not living aware. Other things will press hard and seek to take our time and devotion. Worry is a real struggle that will zap your energy and steal away precious moments. It takes an active choice, diligence, and God’s Spirit within us to help us stay on track.
10. He gives hope for the future.
Even in the face of huge loss and ravaging storms, hard times do not hold the final say over our lives. As believers, we’re kept safe in the hands of our Creator, in this life, and the next. Winds can blow. Devastating loss may come. But our God is a Redeemer. He’s the only One who can take what seems to be utter destruction, and somehow turn it around for good. He did it for Job. He did it for Joseph. He did it for Noah. And He is the same God today, forever faithful to His promises.
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Originally published Thursday, 01 July 2021.