How God Can Grow Our Faith in the Darkest Seasons of Life (10 Truths to Help You Press Through)

How God Can Grow Our Faith in the Darkest Seasons of Life (10 Truths to Help You Press Through)

Often in our darkest seasons, we find that the most difficult days we face can become pivotal times that mark our lives and even our future. If you’ve lived long enough, you may know what it is to struggle through deep loss, brokenness, and pain. Most all of us have been there at some point along the way, and though our personal times of great darkness may look different, it always offers the greatest potential in our lives to change us. Because the person that walks out of the storm, out of the fiery trial, or straight out of the deep, is different than the one who first walked in.

We’re changed.

We’ve battled.

We’ve struggled.

We’ve wrestled with ourselves, with others, and even with God.

And maybe we even still have some war wounds.

Often it takes time to fully understand and begin to see how God will turn it all around for goodness and purpose. Because that dark season so deeply affected us. But through Christ, we have the assurance and hope that only He can give, knowing that He will indeed use our dark days for ultimate blessing in this life. Every single one. We may not see it yet, but we can fully trust that He will strengthen our faith, deepen our roots, and build greatness within us when the strong winds blow.

A few things I’ve learned along the way, and still am learning when difficult days come, are these truths that God gives us, so that we can rise above the difficult times. He reminds us not to be surprised when the fiery trials come. Though it may be hard, and our feelings might try to steer us other directions, we have to determine to keep walking in light and truth, refusing to listen to the enemy’s lies. It’s crucial to be anchored deep in Him, so that we can grow stronger through the storms we face.

10 Truths for the Dark Seasons: To Help Boost Your Faith and Strength in Him

  • 1. Keep Your Eyes on Jesus

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    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.

    “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

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  • 2. Daily Fill Your Heart and Mind with God’s Words

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    His 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.

    “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

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  • 3. Talk to God and Pray His Words Back to Him

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    Sometimes when we’re hurting most we don’t even know how to pray. We’re at a loss for words, our hearts are broken, our spirits grieved. But we can find strength in knowing that Christ Himself intercedes for us when we don’t know what to pray. And just opening God’s words and praying His truths back to Him is so powerful and effective. We’re speaking out living words straight into the darkness we find ourselves in. It renews our minds, it comforts our hearts, it brings peace to our spirits.

    Recently when our family was walking through a very difficult trial, I found myself there. Night after night, I was awakened by the deep hurt and pain in my heart. I prayed, I cried, I longed just to sleep again. But often, the only thing I found that could bring peace and comfort to my spirit was God’s Word. I would say out loud every verse that came to my mind, praying His powerful reminders back to Him. Sometimes I would read chapter after chapter, until sleep came again. I would awaken, the Bible still laying open, right over my heart. It didn’t instantly make all our problems go away, when I woke up, they were still there. But through time, I realized this: my mind, heart, and spirit were being renewed day by day, night by night. His peace, healing, and comfort were washing over me every time I spoke his words, believing them to be true.

    “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” - Philippians 4:6-7

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  • 4. Remember that God Promises to Bring Purpose Out of Every Hard Place

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    As believers in Christ, we can hold fast to this promise. God will never waste our pain. He will turn it around for good. Every battle. Every hard place. Every dark time. Every painful storm. He will never allow us to walk through deep struggle without allowing it to bring greater hope and purpose, both in our own lives and through our place in this world. Every mark of darkness is redeemed when we’re in Christ. Every crushing trial will be pushed back so we can live free. It’s what He does best. He brings beauty and strength, hope and goodness from every difficult journey and broken day. Our past will not define us. The trial itself will not label us. We are only defined by our Lord who lifts us out of the deep, who brings us through the fire, who takes us straight out of the darkness, into greater purpose and blessing up ahead. Restored. Redeemed. Renewed. Repurposed.

    “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” - Romans 8:28

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  • 5. Know that God Loves You, He Cares, and Will Never Leave You on Your Own

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    The enemy will always tempt us to believe we are forgotten and left on our own. We have to make the choice to step right over his traps. We may not see it fully, we may not be aware, but God is leading, carrying us, even when we don’t understand how we’re even getting through each day. The Bible is filled with countless reminders that He loves us and that His Presence covers us, goes before us, and hems us in from behind. God never asks us to face the struggles alone. He’s with us always and promises to fight for our battles.

    “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, ‘My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!’ He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge...” - Psalm 91:1-2, 4

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  • 6. Keep Praising Him

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    Worship and praising our King are a powerful force in pushing back the forces of darkness and building faith within our own hearts. As we make the choice to give Him the honor due His name, even when it feels more like a sacrifice to offer praise, it will strengthen our spirits and open up the door for God to do amazing things. Scripture reminds of that over and over. Maybe we’re hurting, we’re desperate, or we’re crying as we sing words through broken voices. But God hears, He knows, He understands our pain. And He reminds us that He encircles our praises, His Presence is close to us as He as He comforts the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He will never turn away. We can make the choice, as hard as it may be, to lift our hands and voices to our Mighty Savior and Lord.

    “He inhabits the praises of His people.” - Psalm 22:3

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  • 7. Keep Choosing Joy, Find Something to Laugh about Every Single Day

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    God reminds us to choose joy in whatever we face, to stay confident that He is at work, even through every trial and broken place. We never gain greater strength and spiritual muscles simply by living an “easy” life. We can only build deeper faith and perseverance by walking through the hard times that press us more closely into His Presence. It’s hard sometimes to keep choosing joy when life seems to be pressing us down. It may be hard to even find a reason to laugh or smile when we feel close to tears some days. But there’s always something, somewhere, that we can find joy in. We may have to look for it, but God wants to lift our burdens and remind us there’s hope still ahead.

    “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing…” - 1 Peter 4:12-13

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  • 8. Keep Giving to Others During Your Own Dark Days

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    When we’re going through really hard times, it can be difficult to see past our own pain. We can tend to get self-absorbed and forget to notice what others may be going through too. But the truth, we’re not the only ones suffering in this world. All around us, every day, we’re rubbing shoulders with others who may be facing different battles. Sometimes, we’ve got to stir ourselves up to action, to keep reaching out, giving what we can to those around us who need some encouragement as well. I noticed over time through some very hard times, that as our family made the choice to do this, God’s words rang true again and again, it really is “more blessed to give than to receive.” It helps us to take our eyes off our own situation, no matter how stressed or pressured we might feel. It reminds us that we’re all in this together, that we need each other and God’s gracious gifts every day to stay strong. He is always faithful to provide what we need - encouragement, provision, grace, and healing - as we are obedient to follow His commands and to give as He leads.

    “…God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed." 2 Corinthians 9:7-8

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  • 9. Surround Yourself with a Community of Believers You Can Trust

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    People are so important in this journey of life, friends and family who will stick with us no matter what we face, who will cover us in prayers, and offer wise counsel and help. We were never meant to journey alone, especially in times of deep heartache. Never feel ashamed that you’re reaching out for help, we all have been there at some point along the way, and God will use our stories to help others in the years still to come. It’s only through our own pain, grief, or hardship, that we can have a fuller understanding of what others walk through as well. There’s great comfort in knowing that God will use what we have experienced, no matter how difficult, to help someone else. Christ Himself suffered and was tempted in “all things,” reminding us that He truly understands “all” that we walk through in this life.

    “…Who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.” - 2 Corinthians 1:4-5

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  • 10. Remember, You’re Only Passing Through

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    When we find ourselves there, in the trial, in the storm, it’s easy to start thinking it may never end. But we’re not meant to stay stuck there, this is only a season of time, though it may “feel” like forever. God promises to see us through and He will help us step through to the other side of the struggle. He knows our way and He is building beauty and strength. He promises, we will come out “as gold,” tested, tried, and true.

    Remember that you’re only passing through.

    God is doing an amazing work, and He is a miracle worker, our Redeemer.

    We will be changed for the better, stronger, shining, beauty deepened from within.

    “But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.” - Job 23:10

    Debbie McDaniel is a writer, pastor's wife, mom to three amazing kids (and a lot of pets). Join her each morning on Fresh Day Ahead's Facebook page, for daily encouragement in living strong, free, hope-filled lives. Find her also on Twitter and at her blog www.debbiemcdaniel.com

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