This is not an easy post to write.
There are no easy answers when the hard comes.
I have faced some of these “hards” up close. Some, thankfully, I’ve not.
But I have been left, fired, unable to walk, and told I couldn’t get pregnant.
It. Is. Terrifying.
We’ve talked about fear of the unknown, but what happens when the worst actually happens? When the fear comes creeping into every corner of your conscious thinking and unconscious dreams. When tears creep out while sitting at your desk or laying in your bed. When your heart races and your breath shortens until you’re dizzy.
Fear wants to lay claim to your hard season.
Fear wants to make this temporary season your permanent storyline. Fear wants this hard to define you. To roadblock you. To paralyze you.
It’s when the hard comes we most need to Break Fear.
I have no good words so, once again, I turn to the guidance from the scripture.
1. Do not fear. This sounds completely ridiculous, but I think it is important to say. The Bible commands us, over and over again, not to fear. Not to stop fearing in our own human power, but in His power. He is right here. In the middle of the hard. He knows what comes next. He knows how He is going to use this for good. He will hold you up when your knees buckle. He will whisper words of peace and comfort over you when your heart races and fists clench.
Isaiah 41– So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand…
For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.
2. Pray. Sometimes, it is literally the only thing we can do about it. He tells us that when we pray, His peace will guard our minds. I have this concrete image of His angels of peace and courage coming to stand guard around my head as I pray. Whether it is crying out “WHY?????” or just crying, He wants us to come talk to Him. This is hard. It’s fine to acknowledge that, including when you’re talking to God. You can be angry or sad or hurt or confused. Pour it out.
Philippians 4 – 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….
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength…
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
3. Trust Him. I do not know why you are in a hard season. I do not know why I am in a hard season. But He knows. And the hard circumstances I have faced in my life in the past, I can only see now, were used by God for His glory or His kingdom or to move me from a place of even greater danger.
Proverbs 3 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Hebrews 11 – Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
Psalm 62 – Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in him at all times, you people; for God is our refuge.
4. He has this. He owns everything. He will act. He is going to act on your behalf in the middle of this hard.
Psalm 50 – I have no need of a bull from your stall or of goats from your pens, for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills.
Hebrews 10 – Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering. Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution…. You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For, “In just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay.”
Daniel 9 – Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servant. For your sake, Lord, look with favor on your desolate sanctuary. Give ear, our God, and hear… Lord, listen! Lord, forgive! Lord, hear and act! For your sake, my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name!
All I have this week is to mediate on His word – I’ve included these passages which encourage me as I struggle in the hard (there were too many to include them all above, but I think it’s important to have them all handy as you grieve):
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?…
For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock…
Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.
I love you, Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I have been saved from my enemies.
The cords of death entangled me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.
The cords of the grave coiled around me; the snares of death confronted me.
In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help.
From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears…
He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters.
He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me.
They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the Lord was my support.
He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted… 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 joy 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.
For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!