4 Keys to Trusting God in Difficult Times

4 Keys to Trusting God in Difficult Times

I had never run so fast in my life.

A neighborhood kid burst through our mudroom door and breathlessly announced that my son had fallen out of a tree and wasn’t moving. 

So I ran.

I ran…mindlessly leaving the noodles boiling and the sauce still simmering on the stove.

I ran what felt like a sprinter’s pace and slow motion all at the same time.

Unbearable minutes passed as I knelt beside my son, stabilizing his head and speaking words of assurance to him. 

Finally, the ambulance started down our street.

Sirens. Lights. Backboard. Neck brace. The instructions: “Follow us to the emergency room.” 

As they shut the double doors on the ambulance rig, my worries began to rise, and my strength started to collapse.

Photo of Ambulance Quickly Driving Down the Road

HOW DO YOU TRUST GOD IN DIFFICULT TIMES?

Living in a broken world means that in the blink of an eye solid ground can start to feel shaky. Despite our good intentions and thoughtful plans, we will experience things that will bring us to our knees. Trials we never imagined walking through.

A cancer diagnosis. 

Unwanted divorce papers. 

An unexpected phone call announcing a death.

An accident involving a loved one.

How do we hold tight to a God that we can’t see when the things we can see seem to be falling apart? What are the keys to trusting God in difficult times?

1. ASK FOR HELP

In life’s difficult times – when the weight of your circumstances is pressing down and you’re straining to endure it – speak out this plea: “God, help me.

It may sound overly simple, but those words are backed by a hefty promise. Following his death on the cross and his resurrection from the grave, Jesus explained to his closest friends that he would be leaving the earth for a while, but that a Helper would be sent to be with them in the meantime. 

Jesus said, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever…  But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” John 14:16 & 26

This Helper is a promise for all who trust Jesus for salvation. The Holy Spirit can give you the power to believe. To trust. The ability to confess that Jesus still has control over all things and all circumstances. In the face of physical weakness, ask Him for help. When you are spinning around in emotional distress, ask Him for help.

Trusting God in the Storms of Life

2. BE REMINDED OF GOD’S GOODNESS

When things are faltering all around you the best place to go for assurance of God’s goodness is the Bible. It’s where God reminds you that His power is sustaining you, even in your weakest moment. It’s where He breathes words of comfort and peace to your heart. And, it’s where you get to see God’s track record of faithfulness on full display. A track record that proves God’s love will never leave you in your difficult circumstances.

The Bible records ways that God has responded to hard times in the past. A great example is found in Genesis 6-8. This is God’s creative rescue plan for Noah and his family. God’s power for Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego amidst persecution is recorded in Daniel 3. 

Further Reading: He Is With You In The Storm | A Minute In The Word

And, possibly the most well-known of all hard times, is the story of Job, where we see that God is in control even while Job walks through a deep valley. 

But he is unchangeable, and who can turn him back? What he desires, that he does. For he will complete what he appoints for me, and many such things are in his mind. Job 23:12-14

Spending time in God’s Word will remind you that God’s goodness and His character is unchanging. He has been faithful in the past, He is faithful today, and He will continue to be faithful for your future. Fill your mind with His truth so that you may stand against any lies that may begin to form about your life and circumstances.

3. TALK TO GOD ABOUT IT

God wants to hear from you. He wants to hear your praises, your thankfulness, your needs, and also…your laments. The Bible is full of laments –songs of sorrow – from God’s people who are struggling to endure. Lamenting isn’t just complaining. It’s an act of faith. It’s a conversation – a cry to God – that says “I’m struggling and I can’t bear this, but I give you my circumstances and I trust that one day you will redeem all things.” 

If you’ve never lamented to God before, Psalm 13 is a good pattern to follow. David, the author, is in the midst of hardship and distress. He starts by turning to God:

O Lord, how long will you forget me? Forever? How long will you look the other way? Psalm 13:1

Then he brings his complaint:

How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul, with sorrow in my heart every day? How long will my enemy have the upper hand? Psalm 13:2

He asks for God’s help:

Turn and answer me, O Lord my God! Restore the sparkle to my eyes, or I will die. Don’t let my enemies gloat, saying, “We have defeated him!” Don’t let them rejoice at my downfall. Psalm 13:3-4

And he chooses to trust God:

But I trust in your unfailing love. I will rejoice because you have rescued me. I will sing to the Lord because he is good to me. Psalm 13:5-6

God welcomes your prayers and invites you to talk with Him about all of your feelings and circumstances. Your joys and your sorrows. He is listening. And He cares.

Further Reading: His Presence… Our Peace

4. PRAISE GOD IN DIFFICULT CIRCUMSTANCES

When tough times hit our natural reaction is to seek out comfort and peace. Often times we go to things that are readily available and we think might bring us some comfort – food, substances, a Netflix binge, a big splurge from Amazon – but in the end do little to give us any lasting peace about our circumstances.

The Bible says the source of peace – true peace – is God.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayers and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Phil 4:4, 6-7

In a tough time, the last thing you may want to do is rejoice…or praise God. But, it’s the exact thing that you need to do! When you do, the Holy Spirit will bring you unexplainable peace.

One of my favorite ways to praise God in tough times is to put in my earbuds and enjoy a steady diet of praise and worship music. I can hold tightly to lyrics that are filled with the promises of God as I go about my day. Choruses reminding me of God’s promises can work to combat any fears that might be rising up from my circumstance. And when I sing of what Jesus has already done for me, I can experience God’s peace (talked about in Phil 4:7) despite the difficult time that I am in.

If you want to praise God in your hard time and experience God’s strength, but you’re not sure how to do that, then I would encourage you to begin by finding some music that reminds you of God’s faithfulness. The song, “My God is Still The Same,” written by the band Sanctus Real, was birthed out of a difficult situation, and answers their questions of, “Is God in this situation? Has He Left?”

You can check out the song here:

Powerful Lyrics about Trusting God in Difficult Times

“My God is Still The Same” by Sanctus Real

When did He break His promise?
When did His kindness fail?
Never has, never will
My God is still the same
When did He lose His power?
When did His mercy change?
Never has, never will
My God is still the same, yeah
My God is still the same



Dig Deeper:

  1. Are you currently experiencing a hard time or circumstance that is challenging your trust in God?
  2. Pray a prayer of lament following the pattern of Psalm 13:
    • Turn to God
    • Tell Him your complaint
    • Ask for His help
    • Declare your trust in Him

Finding JOY every day

Whether celebrating and singing along on the good days or getting a pick-me-up and encouragement on the hard days, let JOY FM be your soundtrack to bring JOY to your day. You can take JOY with you wherever you go by streaming right now by clicking here to listen. Or you can easily bring JOY with you by downloading the JOY FM App.

Combat Fear with Encouraging Messages by Downloading the JOY FM App

What can you expect from listening to JOY FM?

You’re going to hear a lot of great music.  Music with meaning…but you’re still going to want to sing along with the songs.  

You’re going to hear on-air personalities that are real people. Laughing. Having fun. And being honest about life. 

And you’re going to notice that JOY FM leaves you feeling a little better about life in general.  A few minutes of listening should leave you feeling uplifted…encouraged…refreshed…ok, we’ll say it…more JOYful!

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