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8 Challenging Situations Where Christians Must Run to God

Dawn Wilson

Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
Published Apr 01, 2024
8 Challenging Situations Where Christians Must Run to God

In our greatest needs and facing our most difficult obstacles, we desperately need God. It’s urgent that we run to Him and not the failing philosophies of man. Every need we have is answered in who God is.

Here are some of the times we need to run to our Father God.

Photo credit: Pexels/Samuel Silitonga

Woman looking expectantly up at the sky through a window

1. Run to God When You Need Wisdom

We are not God, and His thoughts and ways are often beyond us (Isaiah 55:8-9). But that does not mean we shouldn’t run to Him when we get confused, or when we desperately need His perspective for decisions or to deal with tough circumstances. 

The writer of Proverbs said we should not lean on our own understanding — our own wisdom — but rather submit to God and allow Him to direct us. A good place to begin that submission is in the Scriptures, which offer guidance for many areas of Christian living (2 Timothy 3:16).

God spoke through the prophet Jeremiah, “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know” (Jeremiah 33:3). Paul said we should come to God with all our requests (Philippians 4:6). That certainly would include a plea for wisdom. James specifically encouraged believers to pray for wisdom or discernment concerning their trials (James 1:5). 

When nothing makes sense, or when you struggle to understand, turn to the matchless wisdom of God.

2. Run to God When Fears Assault You

Rather than run in fear or pull inward, Christians are encouraged to press forward with God who reaches out His hand and says, “Do not fear; I will help you” (Isaiah 41:13). When fears assault, we need courage that comes from His presence. When afraid, we can run to and trust in Him (Psalm 56:3-4). God is our refuge, our strength, and our hiding place until the storms of life pass by (Psalm 27:1; 46:1-3; 57:1). 

The Son of God advised His disciples concerning fear. He told them He would supply His own supernatural peace, and then He urged, “do not be afraid” (John 14:27). Even when we must face horrendous circumstances, it is God’s presence and peace that can carry us through. 

When fears mount up and threaten to overcome you, remember the Overcomer, Jesus, who came to bring you salvation and peace.

Photo credit: Unsplash/Frank McKenna

Hand stacking an unsteady stack of blocks

3. Run to God When Life Seems to Fall Apart

It’s easier to accept God’s providence — His caring provision for us based in His sovereign control — when we’re unchallenged by struggles or loss. But when things seem to fall apart and we fail to see something positive happening, it’s much harder. 

Joni Eareckson Tada has suffered greatly as a quadriplegic and with cancer. In Is God Really in Control? she wrote about the times we wonder what God is up to when life seems to fall apart. “Real satisfaction comes not in understanding God’s motives,” she said, “but in understanding His character, in trusting His promises, and in leaning on Him and resting in Him as the Sovereign who knows what He is doing and does all things well.” When we experience pain in life that, from a human standpoint, makes us feel that everything is falling apart, it’s wise to turn to, lean on, and rest in Father God.

Nothing takes God by surprise, and nothing is outside the span of His control. All the details of our story — even those things we cannot understand this side of Heaven — are designed with His holy purposes for us and His glory in mind. He is sovereign, loving, and good. If you are a follower of Christ, one of the Father’s purposes is to make you more like Jesus (Romans 8:28-29), and He can use anything to accomplish that, even things that confuse us or bring us pain.  

Keeping in mind that God is in control will help you face your greatest troubles. When life seems to crumble, run to and take comfort in Him.

Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Leong Thian Fu / EyeEm

Heart with a bandaid over it

4. Run to God When Your Heart Is Breaking

In The Problem of Pain, C.S. Lewis said God “shouts” to us in our pain. We may not like it when God shouts through that megaphone, but even though God may allow deep wounding, He also comforts as no other. David said that the Lord is near to the brokenhearted (Psalm 34:18). He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their soul’s wounds. But we must run to Him in our pain.

When life gets hard, when a relationship falls apart, when dreams are crushed, when a diagnosis changes everything — in these and every heartbreaking circumstance, all is still well because God can move into our deep brokenness to heal and help us. He uses His Word to comfort our hearts; and He may use the loving concerns of Christians who come alongside us to help us heal. Paul urged believers to encourage one another, because there are so many occasions when we need encouragement!

Grief is perhaps one of the biggest emotions that cause us to run to God. Jesus, in the Beatitudes, said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5:4). In the pain of our shattered hearts, God wants to comfort us. He does that now through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, and someday, all the reasons for heartbreak will be banished forever (Revelation 21:4).

When your heart is breaking — when you think your bottle of tears is overflowing — run to God. He is a compassionate and comforting Father.

Photo credit: ©Getty Images/eternalcreative

couple stressing over money anxiety at laptop

5. Run to God When You’re Anxious about Finances

Many Christians have a “gimee” relationship with God. But God is not a holy ATM machine. That does not mean He is heartless concerning our needs. He cares about our financial reversals and when we are distraught that we can’t pay bills. He understands our anxiety when we wonder how we’re going to pay for our children’s education. He does not heartlessly turn away.

Rather than stewing about our lack, we must run to our Heavenly Father and pray about our needs. Then we must trust Him to either supply in His own time or way, or give us wisdom about our next step, perhaps something we’ve not even considered. Either way, God is our source. He is the owner of all things and the Provider of every material blessing. Philippians 4:19 says He can meet our needs according to His riches, not ours.

God knows how much we need things to thrive in life, but He wants us to seek Him. If human parents know how to give good gifts to their children, how much more, Jesus said, does God in Heaven give gifts to those who ask Him (Matthew 7:11). “Ask Him” is the key phrase. 

When you become anxious about your finances or any lacking resource, run to your Provider in prayer.

6. Run to God When You Need Hope

Some circumstances can feel hopeless. Perhaps we are overwhelmed by tough trials and we’re suddenly downcast. But we need not despair. These are times to run to God in prayer and search the Scriptures for words of hope! 

While the word “hope” in the English language might include the idea of doubt — a “hope so” perspective — that is not the perspective of Scripture. Biblical hope isn’t about doubt, unless one might say, “I have absolutely no doubt about that!” It includes the concepts of certainty, security, and confidence in someone’s or something’s reliability. Biblical hope is not a feeling, but rather the assurance that God is for us and the promises in Scripture are true.

The psalmist said, “We wait in hope for the lord; he is our help and our shield . . . May your unfailing love be with us, lord, even as we put our hope in you” (Psalm 33:20-22). The writer of Hebrews notes that hope is linked to trusting God: “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1). The believer’s hope for eternity with God is secure through Jesus; and that hope is also an “anchor for our soul” in our day-to-day struggles.

When you feel hopeless, run to God. Believe that He sees and cares, and that He will be your help and strong defense.

Photo credit: ©Getty Images/fizkes

Man on the edge of a cliff looking toward an apple

7. Run to God When Temptation Rages

We are all broken in sin, and susceptible to many temptations from Satan and our own weak flesh. That’s why Proverbs 4:23 tells us to guard our heart. Jesus counsels us to stay alert and pray so we won’t enter into temptation. As we mature in the Word of God, we need to learn to anticipate the evil one’s attacks and avoid temptation. 

But when temptation rages, it’s crucial to run to our loving, merciful, help-giving Father God. The writer of Hebrews urges us to “draw near” to His throne to find help when we feel like we might succumb to temptation’s allure (Hebrews 4:15-16). 

All three persons of the trinity are involved in helping us with temptation. First, we run to the Father in prayer. Second, Jesus helps us. Satan tempted Jesus three times in ways that symbolized all human temptations; but each time, Jesus answered with the truth of Scripture. He is our example. Also, because Jesus in His humanity suffered being tempted, He is able to help us when we are tempted (Hebrews 2:18). Third, the Holy Spirit convicts us not only of our need for salvation, but also concerning sin — He reminds us that evil temptations are harmful and wrong for us. Conviction is a good thing; don’t fight it.

When temptations rage and we choose to run to God, He will strengthen us, provide a way of escape, and give us victory. He will never think, “You’ve come too often.” He delights to help us.

8. Run to God When You’ve Lost Your Joy

We might lose our joy as Christians for a number of reasons. Here are three.

We might lose our joy because we’ve lost the love we once had for our Father or for Jesus — lost the intense passion we had when we first became believers. Actually, it’s not a matter of losing love. Revelation 2:4 says we forsake or abandon or walk away from that love. Perhaps we’re distracted by lesser things. Perhaps life has dealt us a curve ball and we’re wobbling spiritually. Regardless of the reason, run to God and confess your love and whole-hearted allegiance to Him.

We might lose our joy because we’ve become ungrateful. Paul said we’re to be thankful in all circumstances, and to thank God for all He has done. Run to God with fresh praises laced with gratitude!

We might lose our joy because of sin. After Nathan the prophet confronted David concerning his adultery (Psalm 51:12), the king asked God to restore the joy of His salvation. David’s attempt to cover his sin had only caused inner torment; but in Psalm 51 we hear his repentant cry to God for forgiveness and cleansing. “Blessed [or joyful],” David said, “is the one whose transgressions are forgiven” (Psalm 32:1). It’s been said that sin “causes the cup of joy to spring a leak.” That’s never a good thing. Run to God, confess your sin, and rejoice in His forgiveness! 

Why would we not run to our Father God with our questions, weaknesses, and needs? In the parable in Luke 15:11-32, the broken-down prodigal son desperately hoped he would find forgiveness, help, and blessing in his return — and his father welcomed his son with open arms. Likewise, Father God is waiting for us to come to Him. Don’t wait. Run!

Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Z Wei

Dawn Wilson 1200x1200Dawn Wilson has served in revival ministry and missions for more than 50 years. She and her husband Bob live in Southern California. They have two married sons and three granddaughters. Dawn works for Revive Our Hearts Ministries. She is the founder and director of Heart Choices Today, publishes Truth Talk with Dawn, and writes for Crosswalk.com.  

Originally published Tuesday, 02 April 2024.