What Does the Bible Say about Hard Times?

All people will experience hard times in this life, but as believers, we have hope for the future. In eternity with the Lord, we will no longer have to fear hard times because everything will be made perfect.

What Does the Bible Say about Hard Times?

“Gonna make you wonder why you even try/Hard times/Gonna take you down and laugh when you cry… I still don't know how I even survive/Hard times.”  These lyrics come from Paramore’s famous song “Hard Times” off their most recent album After Laughter.

Growing up, I was always a fan of Paramore as my sister and I loved the edgy style and the raw lyrics of the lead singer, Hayley Williams. Paramore’s lyrics for “Hard Times” are raw, genuine, and true to our own personal experiences with hard times. There have been many hard times that I still cannot believe I survived.

The death of loved ones, illnesses, and anxieties are a few that you may be able to relate to in your own life. Hard times can cause much stress to arise in our bones; however, the Bible gives us some encouragement about hard times.

Hard Times Are Inevitable

Going through hard times is difficult. Most people do not enjoy the idea of going through a difficult season of life. We tend to avoid hard times at all costs. The Bible tells us that even as we walk through hard times, God is with us (Joshua 1:9; Isaiah 41:10). Hard times are never pleasant; however, God can teach us a lot through hard times.

During hard times, we will face trials, temptations, and tribulations, yet the Lord never leaves us during these times. James 1:12 says, “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”

Believers can learn a great deal of information through trials as hard times cause us to grow in our faith. There will be ups and downs in life, but good times and hard times will help us grow. The Lord does not want us to remain stagnant in our Christian growth. He wants us to continue to grow and deepen our relationship with Him.

Hard times are a way for us to grow stronger in our walk with the Lord. If we find ourselves experiencing anxiety, distress, or worry over the hard times in our lives, we need to turn to the Lord.

In Philippians 4:6-7, Paul says, “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.”

Give all of your anxieties over to the Lord. During hard times, it is inevitable that we will have anxieties, difficulties, and distress. Despite feeling these emotions, the Lord can give us the strength to stand up under them. Lean on the Lord and He will give you strength.

Another helpful tactic Paul tells us about in his epistle to the Philippians is where to place our focus during hard times. Paul tells us to think on whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8).

If we think about these things, getting through the hard times will be much easier. If we set our minds and hearts on the Lord and the blessings in our lives, we will be able to overcome the hard times. Hard times will not break us unless we let them. The Lord does not want us to be drowned out by hard times as He will carry us if we let Him.

The Bible Plus Hard Times

A man who was familiar with hard times was Job. Job lost all of his adult children, lost all of his cattle, experienced the destruction of his home, and was covered in sores from head to toe all in one day. This is not even including the fact that Job found out he didn’t have loyal friends and a wife who urged him to curse God and die (Job 2:9).

Despite this hard time of Job’s life, he never charged God with wrongdoing. Moreover, throughout the account of Job, Job never questioned God’s goodness. Job says, “God might kill me, but I have no other hope. I am going to argue my case with him” (NLT). 

In the same way, we need to trust God throughout the duration of the hard times in our lives. Even though some hard times last the entirety of our lives, we need to still trust in God and rely on Him. Humility can be the result of hard times as hard times have a way of diminishing pride.

God is constantly molding and shaping us to reflect His Son. Jesus was always humble and never prideful. Similarly, hard times will help us grow in humility. Another person who was familiar with hard times was the Apostle Paul.

Paul was persecuted, stoned, imprisoned, and suffered greatly for the name of Christ (Acts 9:29, 14:5; 2 Corinthians 4:9, 11:24; 2 Timothy 2:9, 3:11). Hard times were part of Paul’s daily life. The hard times experienced by Paul did not go away with time. In fact, the hard times increased as Paul’s life went on.

Paul died as a martyr of his faith in Christ at the hands of Nero. Despite the hard times never ceasing in Paul’s earthly life, he is now free from hard times now that he is with Jesus. Furthermore, the best example of a person who went through hard times as recorded in the Bible was the Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus went through pain, false accusations, and crucifixion. During Jesus’ life crucifixion was the worst type of death a person could experience. Death by crucifixion was reserved for only the worst criminals. Jesus did not do anything deserving of death; however, the Jewish leaders sentenced Jesus to death by crucifixion.

Jesus’ death was not the only hard time of His life as Jesus experienced sorrow, pain, and rejection throughout His life. Hard times were something Jesus was all too familiar with during His life. Jesus experienced the ultimate hard time for us in order to redeem us from our sins.

All people will experience hard times in this life, but as believers, we have hope for the future. In eternity with the Lord, we will no longer have to fear hard times because everything will be made perfect (1 Peter 1:3-4).

2 Corinthians 4:17-18 tells us, “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

It is normal to have hard times in your life. There will be good times, bad times, and hard times. If you find yourself going through a hard time today, ask God to help you. He might not take you out of the situation, but He will give you His peace (John 14:27).

God is in control, and He will keep you strong to the end. Few of us enjoy difficult seasons of life; however, hard times will bring us closer to God and strengthen our faith. Hard times can even be the catalyst to change in our lives.

Examples such as the ending of a friendship, the closure of a business, or the passing of a loved one could be the hard time that causes us to know the Lord. Hard times are difficult; however, they can be great times for growth.

What Does This Mean?

Jesus never wants to see us in pain, yet we will have hard times throughout our lives because of sin in the world. God can take the bad things and turn them into something good (Romans 8:28). No matter where you find yourself today, know that Jesus is with you every step of the way.

Jesus is with you through every hard time whether that be battling an illness, coping with the passing of a loved one, or experiencing a job loss. The Lord does not promise to take us out of these hard times, yet He does promise to take our hand and walk with us through the valley of darkness (Psalm 23:4).

For further reading:

Why Does the Christian Life Lead to Suffering?

What Does the Bible Say about Anxiety?

How Can I Pray When Life Becomes Unexpected?

What Did Jesus Mean That We Will Have Trouble in This World?

Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/KatarzynaBialasiewicz


Vivian Bricker loves Jesus, studying the Word of God, and helping others in their walk with Christ. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master's degree in Christian Ministry with a deep academic emphasis in theology. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her family and friends, reading, and spending time outside. When she is not writing, she is embarking on other adventures.