By Clarence L. Haynes Jr., Crosswalk.com
There are times in your journey with Christ that life will get hard. Jesus promised that in this world you would have trouble (John 16:33). I know it’s not what you want to always think about (and you probably shouldn’t) but it is a reality that you and I will face.
This is the reason God’s word is so important—because it gives you hope.
There are tremendous verses found in Scripture all designed to give you encouragement. One of the things you can do is to look to the Psalms for hope. Through life’s difficulties and twists and turns, you will find a steady anchor in the Psalms. You don’t have to be overrun, because God is with you.
If you make a habit of memorizing verses that uplift your perspective, you can more readily access hope even when life is hard. So to encourage you, here are some selected verses from the Psalms for hope through life’s difficulties.
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1. When You Are Afraid
The Lord is your salvation and the protector of your life. When you are trusting in him, in order for life’s difficulties to overwhelm you, they would first have to overwhelm him. Since you can be confident that won’t happen, you don’t have to be afraid. God has you, and he is your stronghold.
2. When You’re in Trouble
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. Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the Lord.
Not only will God hide you, he will exalt you above your difficulties. Too often you can find yourself looking up at your troubles because they are overwhelming. God is saying not only is my dwelling place a safe space for you, I will elevate you above your trouble. I will change your position so that you will be looking down on the thing that was trying to crush you. From this elevated place, God will return the praise and music to your heart.
3. When You Feel All Alone
Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me.
One of the lies the devil will try to tell you in the middle of life’s difficulties is that the Lord has forgotten you or forsaken you. It’s not true. If he should ever whisper that lie into your spirit then run to this verse in Psalms for hope. Through life’s difficulties remind the devil that God will always receive you, even if everyone else turns their back on you.
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4. When You Feel Anxious or Worried If God Will Come Through
I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.
God is going to come through for you. Just be patient in the process. I know this is not always easy, especially when the heat gets turned up. I encourage you to wait for him. He has not forgotten your situation and he will bring you through. It may feel like it’s taking a long time, but you have to trust that he has it all under control. He will not fail you.
5. When Everything Seems to Be Falling Apart and You Don’t Know What to Do
I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad. Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together! (ESV)
Sometimes the best response to life’s difficulties is to offer praise to God. Hebrews 13:15 calls it a sacrifice of praise. What better time to offer God praise then when you are in the middle of a life challenge?
This is confusing to people around you and to the devil himself because you remember God’s goodness in spaces of life that don’t feel good. That is why it is a sacrifice. However, when you offer this praise, in the midst of, God not only lifts your spirit, he lifts you.
Sure, the difficulty may still remain—but your perspective changes. Regardless of what you’re going through, give God praise in spite of it. After all, even in the midst of your circumstance, he is still worthy.
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6. When it Seems Everyone Else Gets Blessed or You Don’t Even Want God
Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away. Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.
Do you ever feel like you’re doing everything right and everything is going wrong? You look around at others who are being blessed and you wonder: where are you, God, in my life? Or, sometimes, you may not even want to know God at all.
Let’s face it, sometimes when life gets hard you’re even tempted to cut a corner or shave a little off the edge. After all...someone else is doing it and they’re getting ahead while you’re stuck struggling.
That’s why Psalm 37:1-6 offers great for hope through life’s difficulties. It’s a reminder that God will reward your integrity. Don’t be discouraged or distracted. Simply keep trusting God and keep doing good. In due time he will vindicate you.
7. When Your Anger Has Reached a Breaking Point
Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips. Do not let my heart be drawn to what is evil so that I take part in wicked deeds along with those who are evildoers; do not let me eat their delicacies.
One of the challenges of dealing with life is that you can get worn down. When you get worn down, you lose your patience—and you just want to give people a piece of your mind. When this happens, you can be tempted to say the wrong thing or do the wrong thing. In those moments of fatigue, let these words of this Psalm resonate in your heart. These battles are tough, so remembering God’s word while in the battle will help you through.
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8. When You Feel Like You Can’t Go On Any More
I cry aloud to the Lord; I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy. I pour out before him my complaint; before him I tell my trouble. When my spirit grows faint within me, it is you who watch over my way…
Cry aloud to God for help and lift your voice for mercy. What the psalmist is saying is let it all out. Pour it all out on God and don’t hold anything back. Let him know exactly what is going on, how it affects you, and how you feel about it. Don’t hold back.
After you have done this (and you may be tired in the struggle) there is a beautiful promise that will give you an understanding of how much God really loves you. When your spirit grows faint...when you can’t fight anymore...when you can’t take another step—God will watch over your way. You may be tired, but you don’t have to be dismayed, because God is still watching over you.
I hope these verses have encouraged you. I pray that when life happens, and it is just a matter of time before it does, that you would go back to these Psalms for hope. Through life’s difficulties, they will carry you...always reminding you of the God who truly loves you and cares greatly about your situation.
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