Have you ever been through a time where everything seemed to be falling apart?
Maybe you’re going through a major transition that is shaking your world.
Or maybe you’ve felt the weight of grief or despair.
Why is it that when we go through times of suffering, God seems so far away?
We are so inclined to blame God. To ask: Why me? Why this?
Maybe you feel it’s unfair, no one deserves this pain. Maybe anger rises up and you’re ready to walk away from your faith.
I’ve been there.
I have faced despair, heartbreak, trauma, loss and hopelessness. I’ve struggled through difficult transitions that left me with feelings of depression, anxiety and loneliness.
I’ve blamed God and I’ve wanted to give up.
In one of my most difficult seasons, I almost did.
But from the depth of my despair I started learning one of the most powerful ways to find hope.
It wasn’t a change of circumstance or the removal of my suffering.
It was the quiet utterance of three small words.
It is well.
As I slowly found the courage to speak this truth, it brought light into my darkness. The shadows that followed me began to fade in the searing light of Christ.
Hope began to form despite a circumstance that seemed hopeless.
And I slowly found to a faith strong enough to withstand and a hope that carries me through.
As I face each new trial, I struggle, I doubt, but I always learn to say, “it is well” and find the hope I need to keep walking.
So what is this process? How do we learn to say, “it is well” when our world is falling apart?
Don’t Rely on Your Feelings
Emotions are fickle. They come and go with the wind. One minute, we could be filled with happiness and the next we could be swept into despair.
Emotions are an important indicator. They help us discern many things.
But we cannot rely on our emotions for our hope because Christ is our only true hope.
When we allow our feelings to dictate our faith, we will be tossed back and forth by our circumstances.
How great is it that we have a Solid Rock as our foundation? Christ has come so that we may have this hope in the midst of despair.
"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
No matter what goes on in this world, when we base our hope in Christ, we can stand firm in the midst of despair.
When you are tumbling through feelings of grief, hopelessness, loneliness and despair, it is important to do these three things.
1. Fill Your Mind With Truth
Satan knows how hard it becomes to remember the truth when we are suffering. He wants us to flail through our struggles with no sense of direction and no foundation of truth.
When you suffer, it will often be the hardest to reach for your Bible and spend time in the Word.
But it is also the most important time to fill your heart and mind with the Word of God.
It is okay if you don’t want to. It’s okay if it brings up feelings of betrayal or anger.
It is often helpful to find a Bible reading plan. Or to choose a book and read through it.
As you spend time daily in the Word, you will reroute your feelings and find the strength to see beyond the moment.
2. Find Accountability
There is power in fellowship. When we are lost, it is our friends that can help point us back to Christ. When we struggle, it is that connection that can help us keep our eyes in the right direction.
I have had numerous mentors and friends that have sat with me in the hopelessness and reminded me that my hope doesn’t rest in my circumstance.
But these powerful relationships would have been nothing without my willingness to be transparent. I had to be willing to ask for help and to share my pain.
And yet, in each new place, I struggle to open that door. I struggle to find the courage to be transparent and ask for help.
God has done some amazing things when I have laid this request before Him.
He has opened doors that seemed squeezed shut. He has provided friendships and mentors when I felt alone and afraid.
And I know that He will do the same for you.
Ask Him to open the door with someone in your life to be this accountability. Ask Him for the courage to step through the door when it is opened. And be on the lookout. Because God hears our prayers and He is always ready to provide what we need.
3. Speak the Truth-No Matter What
When we face suffering of all kinds, Satan wants us quiet. He knows that if we stay in our heads, he has room to work.
He gains a foothold when we fail to stand firm in truth.
I am a strong believer in the power of speaking truth.
I know that when I’ve been in dark times, I found it almost impossible to say words of truth aloud. It was as if there was a block, someone covering my mouth. I couldn’t get the truth I thought was in my mind, out of my mouth.
But once I did, I immediately felt Satan leave.
There is power in speaking truth. There is power in proclaiming the Word of God.
When we say it aloud, we not only speak to Satan, but we speak to ourselves.
It may start in only a faint whisper. But as you begin to speak the truth aloud, you will find strength to stand up and proclaim it.
So if you are struggling with something right now, ask God for strength and proclaim, “It is well.”
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. -2 Corinthians 4:17
Our hope rests in the one who has overcome the world. No matter where our circumstances are, no matter what feelings are tearing at our hearts, stand firm and proclaim where your hope rests.
It is well.