A Prayer for Turkey and Syria After the Devastating Earthquake

How Can I Be Encouraged in These Difficult Times?

We have much to be thankful for, even in the midst of chaos, turmoil, and upheaval in this world. Whenever you feel anxious or discouraged, turn to the Word God has left us for encouragement and comfort.

How Can I Be Encouraged in These Difficult Times?

For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world — our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? (1 John 5:4-5, ESV).

I was recently thinking about the current state of affairs pertaining to my country, the United States, and I was thinking about the vast opportunities and temptations we have in this world to become discouraged by what is taking place all around us.

From threats of war and foreign attacks to financial crises to governmental issues, it can be easy to lose sight of what truly matters. We may even feel hopeless.

There are some who place their faith in the outcome of elections and natural circumstances, and though we would like to see favorable outcomes in this world, we know from Scripture that there will be difficulties we face and endure. There will be trials.

Jesus spoke to His disciples before His crucifixion in John 16:33 saying, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

He prepared them for coming times of hardship and difficulty, but He also encouraged them with His victory.

We Have a Hope the World Does Not Have

As believers in Christ, we encourage ourselves in the Lord and what He has done. First and foremost, we have a hope the world cannot give or take away, and that hope is found in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

We have victory in this world because of what Jesus did on the cross. We know that no matter how dark things may look and how wickedness seems to prevail, God has prevailed over Satan.

Colossians 2:13-15 says, “When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”

This is such good news! The gospel is the good news, and this is what we need to remember daily while on this earth. Jesus Christ has already conquered and brought victory on our behalf, and this edifies us and strengthens us in our faith when difficulties seem to multiply.

The gospel is what brings hope to others who are in despair and who have no hope. The world cannot offer any assurance, but we have blessed assurance found only in the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ. The joy of our salvation is a great gift God has given us. We are to shine the light of Christ in the darkness.

We not only have the joy of our salvation, but we have the glorious promise of eternal life because our Savior rose from the dead.

The Apostle John encouraged fellow believers in 1 John 5:12-13 with these words about their faith,  pertaining to prayer, “Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.”

Paul encouraged the believers in Philippi to be confident that God would complete the good work He had begun in them (Philippians 1:6).

God’s Word contains His promises, and when we meditate on His Word, we think upon His truth. It brings us comfort in times when earthly comfort and consolation are nonexistent.

Despite whatever we are facing and whatever we see and hear going on around us, we can rest in knowing that these light momentary afflictions are preparing us for an eternal weight of glory. We can rest in what we cannot see here in the now and not yet, eternal life (2 Corinthians 4:17-18).

We Have a Peace the World Does Not Possess

The Word of God brings us tremendous comfort in these times, as it did in the times when Jesus spoke these very words to His disciples, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27).

He was preparing them for what was to come, and He was confirming the sending of the Holy Spirit after His ascension, the Third Person of the Trinity who would abide in them and teach them all things and remind them of everything He had told them.

Today, as believers in Christ, we, too, have been given the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. He is our Helper and our Comforter. He leads us into all truth according to the Word of God.

We need not be afraid of what this world holds because God holds onto us. We are able to walk in the peace of God in this world because we are at peace with God through our faith in Him for salvation.

The peace which God gives is not like the world attempts to give. The world would give a false sense of security and peace when promising temporal things to pacify our need for peace. The world would say that peace is found in material possessions and financial gain.

The world would say peace is unifying around beliefs contrary to God, and if you will only conform to these things, then you will have peace. But that is not true peace.

When we seek this kind of peace, we will depend upon the things of this world to console us when we are to set our minds upward on the things above, where Christ is seated (Colossians 3:1-2).

Peace is not found in us getting our way or the answer to prayer we seek. Peace is found in God, no matter the outcome or circumstance.

I am reminded of a verse I have recited many times in petitioning God in prayer and thanksgiving, “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, shall guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).

Paul did not tell the Philippians they could be at peace knowing their prayers and petitions would result in what they asked of God.

Peace was found in the Lord Himself. We cannot explain it in times of trial, but we comprehend it in our finite understanding when we have prayed and trusted the Lord.

We also understand that His peace guards our hearts, the very thing influencing every area of life (Proverbs 4:23), and it guards our minds. We are to have the mind of Christ as born-again believers, and we do this by renewing our minds with His Word.

Why Does This Matter?

We have much to be thankful for, even in the midst of chaos, turmoil, and upheaval in this world. Whenever you feel anxious or discouraged, turn to the Word God has left us for encouragement and comfort.

Turn to Scripture for the answers to which you seek. Know that He has spoken such things will happen in this world, but we can take comfort and rest in what is to come and in the sovereignty of Almighty God.

For further reading:

How Can We Rejoice during Difficult Times?

How Can I Be Faithful When I’m Struggling?

What Does the Bible Say about Hard Times?

Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/alphaspirit


C.com authorDawn Hill is a Christian blogger known as The Lovesick Scribe and the host of The Lovesick Scribe Podcast. She is passionate about sharing the truth and pointing others back to Jesus Christ through the written Word as the standard of authority for Christian living and instruction while being led by the Holy Spirit into maturity. She is the author of NonProphet Woke: The Reformation of a Modern-Day Disciple. She is a wife to Nicholas and a mother to Anabel and Ephraim. You can follow her on Facebook and Instagram