God’s promises for hard times

Encouragement and Bible verses for difficult times

Earlier this week, my youngest woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t get back to sleep. He ended up waking both my husband and me. I got him settled back into bed and laid down myself. I prayed that my son would be able to get back to sleep and rest well. Then I also prayed for my husband and me the same way. Finally, I thanked God for taking care of us before saying “Amen.”

As I snuggled into the covers, listening to my dog begin to softly snore, I thought about that. In the middle of the night, in the darkness, God reminded me that He will always take care of me. And it was exactly what my heart and soul desperately needed.

God shows up when we need Him

The days prior to this night hadn’t been easy ones. Sometimes life throws a curveball your way, and it knocks you down. Throughout the previous few days, I’d been thinking how knowing God’s will for a situation doesn’t make it hurt any less. Sometimes in the middle of our hurt and hard times we can feel so alone (even when that isn’t true). Yet, God promises that He is always with us.

As I slowly settled in to fall back asleep, the old hymn “God will Take Care of You” drifted through my mind.

Be not dismayed whate’er betide,
God will take care of you;
Beneath His wings of love abide,
God will take care of you.

Through days of toil when heart doth fail,
God will take care of you;
When dangers fierce your path assail,
God will take care of you.

All you may need He will provide,
God will take care of you;
Nothing you ask will be denied,
God will take care of you.

No matter what may be the test,
God will take care of you;
Lean, weary one, upon His breast,
God will take care of you.

God Will Take Care of You
Civilla D. Martin, 1904

I needed that reminder so very much. Maybe it was in the stillness and quietness of the night that God knew I would be better able to hear Him. Perhaps He knew I’d lie in bed with no distractions, and He could gently remind me that He will always take care of me. Unsurprisingly, He was right on time. Yet again, He spoke truth and encouragement into my heart while giving me a song to go with it. Music ministers to my soul so very much.

Remembering the past

One of the other lessons I’ve learned through my decades of walking with God is that He really is ever faithful. Each time I face a new hard time or challenge, I remind myself of other times I thought I couldn’t bear. And I remember how God has brought me through all of them in ways I still don’t even understand.

I am thankful that even though I have stories of hard times, I also have stories of His faithfulness through them. For example, there was the time my husband was without a job for an entire year that we somehow managed to pay our bills. Then in all of my health struggles with chronic conditions, God continues to give me strength and encouragement. He remains faithful.

Sometimes looking back at what God has done in the past can help us as we encounter new challenges and hard times. I have to watch out when doing this, because I can sometimes get distracted and start having a pity party for myself about all the hard times I’ve had in my life. And that’s not helpful. I have learned to stop myself when I start going down that path. It certainly isn’t going to help me like remembering God’s faithfulness and provisions will!

What the Bible says about God’s promises for hard times

Listening for God and remembering what He has done in the past is helpful in getting through hard times. But I also have learned that finding Bible verses of His promises is helpful. God gave us His Word for us to use as a tool to help us through life. So, I put together seven of the many verses of God’s promises for hard times in life.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” — Matthew 11:28 (NIV)

I love this reminder, because during hard times, we feel so weary and burdened. I’ve also had the song “Worn” from Tenth Avenue North running through my head lately. It goes right along with this verse. “I know that You can give me rest, so I cry out with all that I have left.”

“So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” — Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)

I’ve shared this verse multiple times, because it is truly my all-time favorite Bible verse that applies to so many situations. While I first fell in love with the verse for God promising to always be with me when I’m afraid, I later learned the entire verse and love all parts of it. For hard times, I especially love God’s promise to strengthen, help and uphold us.

“The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed,
    a stronghold in times of trouble.
Those who know your name trust in you,
    for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.” — Psalms 9:9-10 (NIV)

God is our shelter and help when we are having a hard time. He promises that we can trust in Him and that He will never leave us. I cling to that promise!

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.'” — Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NIV)

I think sometimes this verse gets relegated only to graduates and young people. But it deserves a second look. God is promising that whatever our hard times are, they aren’t part of a plan for Him to harm us. His plan is to give us hope. And He promises to listen to us when we pray. He also promises that when we seek Him with all our hearts that we will find Him. He is always there.

“God has said, ‘Never will I leave you;
    never will I forsake you.'” — Hebrews 13:5b (NIV)

God is always with us. He doesn’t wander off. He doesn’t sleep and miss out on being there. God is always with us!

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
    and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” — Psalms 34:18 (NIV)

Hard times can make us feel alone. But we are never alone. When we are brokenhearted, God is right there with us. We may not always feel Him or see Him. We may get too distracted and overwhelmed to notice Him, but He is always there with us. Always!

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” — Hebrews 13:8 (NIV)

This Bible verse is an easy one to overlook because it’s something we’ve probably heard many times. But I remember one of the very lowest moments of my life going to church, noticing the cross and remembering this truth. When life is difficult and things are topsy-turvy, knowing that Jesus is always the same and His promises never fail is comforting.

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