Devotion: What To Do When Life Seems Exceptionally Hard

“I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds. Your ways, O God, are holy. What god is so great as our God?” (Psalm 77:11-12)

Life is hard and it seems to keep getting harder for our family! Due to my health condition, my husband is forced to work a job with low pay and bad hours. He had the chance to lead a mission trip overseas, but he has been denied the time off because it falls during the company’s peak sales season.

It is easy when dealing with chronic illness to “[think] about the former days” (v. 5) that were so much better in comparison to the present hardships and wonder, “will [God] never show His favor again?” (v.7). I have often said to my husband, “I understand the Bible says this life will be hard, but why does it have to be so hard?!”

What do we do when we, like the psalmist, have prayed, but it seems like God doesn’t intervene and we continue to suffer? How can we keep our spirit from growing faint?

After lamenting over his suffering, the psalmist purposefully begins to remember God’s hand at work in years past (v 10-20). It’s like all of a sudden the psalmist stops throwing himself a pity party and says, “Yes, life is hard, but I am going to meditate on how faithful You have been to Your people, God”.

He remembers Joseph, and how through many hardships God used him to redeem His people. He is encouraged by Moses, the great exodus, and God’s guidance through the desert for 40 years. And He is awed by God’s majesty and power in the parting of the Red Sea.

We must make a conscious effort as well not to sit around feeling sorry for ourselves and instead meditate on what is true. Sure, life has been hard and things may only get harder in this life, but “What god is so great as our God?”

Prayer: God help me to focus on what is true; that you really are great! Help me to praise You even when I don’t feel like I can praise you anymore.

About the Author:
Kari is a young wife and mother of a busy toddler. After ministering to those suffering from HIV/AIDS and living in Africa she is learning personally that pain has a purpose.

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How do you keep your spirit from growing faint despite living with a chronic illness? What are some practical ways we can take our minds off ourselves and focus on the truth even when we don’t want to? For example, my husband gave me small cards with things such as names of friends, qualities I want in my life (love, joy, etc), and missionaries to pray and praise God for so when I became worried I could pull out those cards and focus my mind on the things of Philippians 4:8.

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5 Responses to Devotion: What To Do When Life Seems Exceptionally Hard

  1. Great article! I often struggle with knowing what is true and what isn’t. My feelings are quite hypervigilant and want to be my guide. This is due to the many betrayals, some quite serious, that I have had in my life, so my body and brain work overtime trying to keep me safe. I am not paranoid just hypervigilant, and clarity is something I struggle with daily. My feelings sometimes get triggered to a past event and try to play themselves out in the present. It’s a lot of work sometimes. The good news is that having faith in God had made my life so much better when dealing with memories.
    For me, I have to stop awhile and rest fully in Him. Instead of trusting my feelings, I have to trust in Him. Scripture has helped a lot as I wait upon the Lord. This is all good for my mind but also good for my body because I also have to deal with physical pain and rest is what I need.
    Yes, this can be a process that takes more than a day or two to where I am feeling better about things, but it works for me. I spent so many of my years going so fast and furious. At times I had to due to situations on my life, but the pace has taken its toll on me. Maybe I was running from so much and now I am facing what needs to be looked at, but in this process, I am realizing what was and I am not alone this time around. I am facing things with Jesus, trusting Him to show me the reality of what was and then forgiving and then letting peace come into my life like never before.

  2. Kari: Your husband has given you a creative idea for those times when fear and doubt and other negatives take over your mind.

    I haven’t checked my two files made for a similar purpose for some time, but think I will do that again. One is full of jokes and funny stories. The other one has notes and cards from people I’ve received over the years that have especially given me a lift. Showing me specific ways I’ve encouraged others. Laughter is good like medicine, as the Bible tells us, and the notes, etc. remind me that God has been using me in the lives of others. That helps me counteract the lie that sometimes pops into my mind telling me that my life has been wasted.

  3. I have been going through a very bad pain flareup and I can honestly say that I have had moments when my future seems very bleak. I do pray every day and give thanks to God every day for His many blessings. But there are days when I just can’t be positive about my life, when I throw a HUGE pity party and just don’t care. Luckily, these days don’t last long. I do recognized that God is teaching me lessons I could not learn any other way. My relationship with Jesus is the closest it’s ever been and for that I am eternally grateful. I just need to remember that before the pity party begins 😉

  4. Hi Kristina. I am Jan and I too am going through a bad flare-up that started last night, didnt sleep much at all and still fighting the pain. I also have some days that I cant be positive about life and with this kind of illness/pain I think it can be understandable as long as we turn it all over to God. That is what I do. I pray to Him asking Him to change my frame of mind. I lost my husband awhile back and going through many adjustments so yes I do get pity parties. I think with belonging here and seeing others like ourselves going through the same thing sure helps me alot plus God does answer my prayers when I do ask Him to change my additude. I do not have any plans for the weekend so I see that they have opened up the chat room. I am excited about that because I sure have met some great people on that. :) Just wanted to post to you and tell you to hang in there and I will pray for you. Hugs, Jan

  5. Hi Janice, thank you for your prayers. I will pray for you as well as you learn to navigate the new landscape of your life.

    I also want to thank Kari for providing this forum for us and for having the courage to share her experiences. You are all amazing people!

    God bless,

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