How to Have Profound Hope Despite Difficult Circumstances

difficult circumstances

Chances are, you’re going through something difficult. It could be the loss of a job, a family member who fell ill, or overwhelming loneliness. It could be a number of different struggles at once.

When you became a Christian, perhaps nobody told you that life would be just as difficult as it was before your conversion – perhaps even more difficult. Christians are certainly not immune to trials and tribulations.

What hope is there for the hurting? What hope is there for you? Let’s take a moment to look at the big picture of this messy thing we call “life.”

Consider Job: a “Blameless” Man Who Was Tormented

Job was a man who was “blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil.” (Job 1:1 NIV)

You know the story. The Lord asked Satan to consider Job who was blameless and upright. The Lord was obviously very pleased with Job.

Satan believed that it was because the Lord blessed the work of Job’s hands that Job feared God (a type of fear that is a great sign of respect for the Lord).

So, the Lord allowed Satan to take away his blessings. Job lost his oxen, donkeys, sheep, servants, camels, sons, daughters, and eventually even his good health.

Here’s a man who walked blamelessly before God, and yet the Lord allowed him to suffer. How could this be? Well, Job’s “friends” had all kinds of ideas of why this might be the case. I encourage you to read through the Book of Job to wrestle with these difficult questions.

There are, however, a couple of lessons I’d like to point out here.

First, it’s obvious that bad things happen to “good” people. It’s a fact of life. I’m not saying we shouldn’t avoid pain and suffering when morally okay to do so, by all means, strive toward a better future! However, it can be helpful to accept pain and suffering when we have no choice. Acceptance can help us get through difficult circumstances.

Second, Job still honored the Lord despite his horrible circumstances. He didn’t sin by charging God with wrongdoing. After all, God is God, and God determines what is right – God is the ultimate judge and who are we to judge the Lord?

Consider the Apostles: Rejoicing in the Midst of Suffering

In Acts 5, we read about the apostles who were flogged because they were speaking in the name of Jesus. “The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.” (Acts 5:41-42 NIV)

Wow.

Notice how they did two things after being flogged: (1) they rejoiced because they were counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name and (2) they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.

How Did They Do It?

The question that these two stories leaves me with is, “How can I be strong like Job and the apostles when I’m going through a difficult time?” I’ve certainly never been through the suffering that these people endured. What’s amazing to me is that their hearts were in the right place even during extreme suffering – perhaps with God’s help, no matter what I’m going through, I could still honor the Lord as well?

I hope I could. I bet you hope you could as well.

My suspicion is that those who can endure such difficult circumstances have great faith in the place Jesus went to prepare a place for them: Heaven. It’s my conviction that the more hope we have in spending eternity with our Lord, the easier it is to take our minds off the difficulties of this world.

Belief in life after death changes everything. Belief in Jesus paying the price for our sins gives us tremendous hope.

Let the reality of Heaven sink in for a moment. Keeping Heaven in mind, how does that change how you look at your present difficult circumstances? How does that change your view of suffering?

I think I know how it changes me. It gives me profound hope – hope for a beautiful new life the Lord has for me because of his grace and forgiveness.

I don’t have all the answers. All I know is, one day, for those who trust in Jesus the Messiah, God will wipe our tears away and bring us into a glorious communion with our Maker.

That, friends, should give us profound hope despite our temporary, difficult circumstances.

If you haven’t been following Christ and want a relationship with Him, please take a few moments to watch this video. Christians are simply those who realize they have rebelled against God, and accept God’s gift of salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ. If you want to give your heart to Jesus, be sure to let me know. God bless. – John

What difficulties are you going through? How do you view your circumstances? Leave a comment!











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19 Comments
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  1. Your message could not have come at a better time. I believe God had you post this today for me. Thanks.

  2. Thank you….I shared this with many and you wrote what I had difficulty verbalizing ….thank you.

  3. AMEN! I MUST REMEMBER to be still in the midst of the storm.

  4. jeanne fletcher

    Best, most succinct writing I have read regarding suffering. What you wrote has been my truth. Well done!

  5. Thank you John..keep educating me on God,’s Word..directing me to read a passage of The Bible. Reminding me of what having faith in God means and TRUSTING HIS LOVE FOR US 100% in every corner of our lives.. Katie

  6. I second what Barbie wrote. Additionally, I received an email with a profound story, which I would like to share here. Sorry for the length, but it is well worth the read. God bless!

    ——————-

    Years ago, a farmer owned land along the Atlantic seacoast. He constantly advertised for hired hands. Most people were reluctant to work on farms along the Atlantic. They dreaded the awful storms that raged across the Atlantic, Wreaking havoc on the buildings and crops. As the farmer interviewed applicants for the job, he received a steady stream of refusals.

    Finally, a short, thin man, well past middle age, approached the farmer. “Are you a good farm hand?” the farmer asked him.

    “Well, I can sleep when the wind blows,” answered the little man.

    Although puzzled by this answer, the farmer, desperate for help, hired him. The little man worked well around the farm, busy from dawn to dusk, and the farmer felt satisfied with the man’s work.

    Then one night the wind howled loudly in from offshore. Jumping out of bed, the farmer grabbed a lantern and rushed next door to the hired hand’s sleeping quarters. He shook the little man and yelled, “Get up! A storm is coming! Tie things down before they blow away!”

    The little man rolled over in bed and said firmly, “No sir. I told you, I can sleep when the wind blows.”

    Enraged by the response, the farmer was tempted to fire him on the spot. Instead, he hurried outside to prepare for the storm.

    To his amazement, he discovered that all of the haystacks had been covered with tarpaulins. The cows were in the barn, the chickens were in the coops, and the doors were barred. The shutters were tightly secured. Everything was tied down. Nothing could blow away. The farmer then understood what his hired hand meant, so he returned to his bed to also sleep while the wind blew.

    When you’re prepared, spiritually, mentally, and physically, you have nothing to fear. Can you sleep when the wind blows through your life?

    The hired hand in the story was able to sleep because he had secured the farm against the storm. We secure ourselves against the storms of life by grounding ourselves in the Word of God.

    We don’t need to understand, we just need to hold His hand to have peace in the middle of storms.

    • What a great story and reminder of our duty and that is to be prepared, then pray. God WILL take care of the details. He has proven it to me over and over. Does that mean I don’t worry any more? I wish I could say yes but I know that worry is a sin and when I catch myself doing it, I repent and try again. :)

  7. Courtney

    Right now, my difficulties are financial. I feel like I’m always waiting for the next shoe to drop…always worried about utilities being shut off and not being able to pay my bills or afford anything that I want…I always try to be grateful because I know that the things I do have are things that others can only dream of, but the toll of it all is sometimes very difficult to bear, especially when you have children who also need things you cannot buy. It hurts sometimes. Articles like this help me to hang in there and know that its only temporary and that if I trust in Him and do not worry it will all be better. I have experienced it first hand…trusting in the Lord has helped me tremendously…it keeps me from worrying and helps me to tackle things one at a time and gives me relief. Thanks a lot for this post and this site.

    • Hey, thanks Courtney for your kind words. I’m sorry to hear about your financial difficulties. Sending a prayer your way that the Lord will get you through these difficult times.

  8. I have been out of work for four years. I’ve been trying to get on disability for the whole time. I need medical care and my meds are expensive.
    My husband is a cook and brings home less then 1200.00 dollars a month,
    Because he has to pay for insurance which takes half his pay every month.
    Now my teeth are becoming a problem, like we needed another one.
    We are waiting the judges decision on my disability , actually holding our breath. Praying god will grant yes. I don’t know what the future holds if he says no. were already behind in paying some of our medical bills, and the stress on my husband is great heaven help us if anything happens to my husband. I feel so helpless in being able to help. there is absolutely have NO money left after we pay everything. We are at the end of our rope. Lord PLEASE help.
    thanks for reading Bree .

    • Sabrina, I’m so sorry to hear about your difficult financial situation. I pray that the Lord gives you the strength to make a living, to find what he has called you to. God bless you and your husband.

  9. This post came at the perfect time, because I was worried a lot about things that I have no control over, which I forget sometimes. My husband has had three different cancers in three years, and it has been draining emotionally and financially too. I really liked the story about the farmer and the farmhand.

  10. This message is so timely for my beloved country, The Philippines. We are the only christian nation in the far east, but earthquakes and storms did not spare us, leaving hundreds dead just last weekend (and still counting), our nation right now needs your .prayer and help. God has a wonderful plan for this country and we are still wondering why these things are happening now, it may be very hard to thank God in all circumstances, but the life of Job shows us a perfect example that after the storms of life comes a promising new day if we will only learn to thank Him in all circumstances.. God bless The Philippines!

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