“Mooomm! Do I really have to make my bed?”
“Yes, Sweetheart. Go ahead and get it done.”
“But Mooomm! It’ll just get messed up again when I go to bed tonight!”
I wonder how many times in the history of mankind that particular conversation has played out? I know I asked the same question myself growing up. And my own daughters have, as well.
I mean, really, what IS the point?
Ecclesiastes is all about Solomon asking this question, “What is the point?” But not about only one aspect of life. Solomon lost sight of the point of even living life at all! He couldn’t understand why life is hard. He needed answers.
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Solomon searched everywhere to find the point to living, the meaning of life. He thought, “What’s the point? We’re all just going to die in the end, anyway.”
For the living know that they shall die: Ecclesiastes 9:5
And in his despair, Solomon thought death would be preferable to an empty and meaningless existence.
Wherefore I praised the dead which are already dead more than the living which are yet alive. Ecclesiastes 4:2
Have you ever felt that way? So discouraged you’d rather just give up on life?
I’ve been there a time or two. Probably most of us have, if we’re honest.
And I would venture to say that every human being has either wondered, or even asked aloud…
Why Does Life Have To Be So Hard?
There are many reasons why life is hard sometimes. One is that the consequences of sin, ours and others’, make life hard at times.
Another is that we don’t always make the wisest choice, even when neither option is necessarily sinful.
For instance, we may choose to purchase a second vehicle, taking on a second car payment. We know it will make our finances tight, but feel that we really need another car. But then an unexpected illness adds medical bills on top of an already stretched budget…and hard times begin!
But I think the best answer for why life is hard is found in Ecclesiastes 1:13—
And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven: this sore travail hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith.
What? God wants our lives to be hard?
At first, it may seem that God is being cruel to have, on purpose, “given” “this sore travail” of confusion about life and the hunt for meaning in it all.
But this actually is God’s blessing!
That we not be able to be satisfied and find meaning in this life “under the sun”…and ignore Him.
For in Him alone is meaning and fulfillment…and salvation! Therefore, God has placed that need for Himself inside each of us—that we would know that a very important Something is missing in our lives—Him.
2 Reasons Why Life Is Hard
When life is hard we may feel singled out and wonder, Is life hard for everyone? Or is it just me?
But God never said life would be easy. For any of us. In this Bible verse Jesus tells us…
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.John 16:33
So, why does life have to be so hard? Simply put, because hard times serve God’s good purposes…
1. To Lead Us to Seek After and Find the Lord!
That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: Acts 17:27
If you’ve grown up in church, you’ve probably heard someone refer to the God-shaped hole within each of us. This phrase is a condensed version of the quote by Blaise Pascal, the seventeenth century French mathematician and physicist, which says—
What else does this craving, and this helplessness, proclaim but that there was once in man a true happiness, of which all that now remains is the empty print and trace? This he tries in vain to fill with everything around him, seeking in things that are not there the help he cannot find in those that are, though none can help, since this infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words, by God Himself.Blaise Pascal
Pascal is speaking of a desire within each of us that remains unsatisfied by everything this world offers.
And this seeming futility of life “under the sun” actually comes from God. Again, not because He is cruel, but because He is merciful. It is evidence of His great love for us!
God has made the way of our salvation and built within each of us…
A “knowing” that He is there…so that we are without excuse before Him…if we ignore Him and the revelation of Himself to us.
Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Romans 1:19-20
And a desire, a restlessness, that drives us to keep searching until we finally find rest in Him, in knowing Him as our Saviour and Lord.
You have made us for yourself and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee.St. Augustine
2. To Keep Us, His Daughters, Recognizing Our Need for Him.
Whenever I find myself in the midst of hard times feeling dissatisfied and restless, I am reminded that I have strayed from my God Who alone is my peace and rest and fulfillment in this life! I have allowed something else…worry, fear, ambition, my own desires, stress, etc…to fill the space within me meant for God’s Spirit alone.
In those times I am reminded to once again turn to God in complete surrender and seek to know Him and follow Him. For that is the only way to peace, contentment, fulfillment, and meaning in life.
Praise God that He loves us enough to allow the hard times in our lives! Because He wants His best for us!
10 Helpful Things to Do When Life is Hard
Since we are not promised a life of ease, we must learn how to respond well to the hard times of life. Instead of questioning God, or whining about why life is hard, we can learn to see those times as special opportunities to honor God in a more profound way than we ever can in the really good times.
Here are 10 things we can do in order to get help to overcome and find peace, meaning, and even joy in the hard times of life.
- Search your heart, and ask God to search your heart.
- Seek God in prayer.
- Trust God with your situation.
- Obey what you know is God’s will.
- Don’t compare your life with someone else’s.
- Memorize and fill your heart with God’s promises.
- Surround yourself with whatever brings you peace–people, things, activities.
- Look for the good in your life.
- Rely on your support system–family, friends, church family.
- Serve someone else in need.
Search your heart, and ask God to search your heart.
Only God’s children have access to the Father and His help in times of trouble and heartache and confusion. So, the most important thing we can do is make sure that we are God’s child, through faith in His Son Jesus alone. And if so, that we are in right fellowship with Him. In other words, that we have no unconfessed sin causing our troubles.
Seek God in prayer.
When life is hard, seeking God in prayer should be our first response. For, true happiness comes from God. Sadly, we often think and try other solutions before we finally remember to pray about our need. And seek the One who has all power and ability to help with any need.
Trust God with your situation.
It’s easy to advise others to “Trust God.” But it’s not easy advice to follow sometimes. But truly the only way to peace and rest during the difficult times of life is to let go of our burdens. Of course, we must do our part in helping our situation, but then leave the rest in God’s super capable hands!
Obey what you know is God’s will.
When life turns sideways it’s always a good time to do a quick checkup to make sure we are in obedience to God. And then simply continue on obeying what we know is the next right thing to do. Obedience to God brings its own sense of peace and fulfillment as a comfort to us when other areas of life are seeking to steal our peace and joy.
Don’t compare your life with someone else’s.
Comparison is the worst trap for us when life is hard. Life is hard for everyone. At different times. And God is the One who knows just what hardships we each need to grow us in our faith and walk with Him. So, just don’t do that to yourself. Don’t add to your hard time by comparing your currently hard life with what “appears” to be someone else’s “good life.”
Memorize and fill your heart with God’s promises.
One of the best things to do when life is hard is to seek God in His Word. Memorizing scripture for hard times is a great way to be prepared to respond well to the hard things God, in His infinite wisdom, chooses to allow in our lives. And what a comfort we forfeit when we neglect to fill our hearts with God’s promises!
Our Prayer Promises Coloring Book is a great resource to help you not only relax and meditate on God’s promises to you, but also to help you hide God’s Word in your heart to encourage you when times are tough.
Surround yourself with whatever brings you peace–people, things, activities.
When you are going through a rough time, it is smart to surround yourself with people and things that bring you peace and make you smile. Is there something that you really enjoy doing? Then make time to do that as a way to recharge your spirit.
Something I do to encourage myself is to keep a journal of God’s blessings. When I’m sad or discouraged, reading through some of those entries picks me right back up. And I’m ready to keep trusting God and keep moving forward!
What is something that you count on to make you smile when you’re once again wondering why life is hard?
Use this Free 10 Things To Do When Life Is Hard Checklist to find help and encouragement when life is hard. Make a plan of action so you can do what you can to help yourself. Then rest in God to do the rest!
Click the image to download.
Look for the good in your life.
When we’re upset it’s sometimes hard to stop and remind ourselves that there are still some good things happening all around us and even in our own lives, too. Not ALL of life is going badly. We just need to look for and focus on the good. Count our blessings, and thank God for them! Thanksgiving will bring a tremendous uplift to any bad day.
Rely on your support system–family, friends, church family.
For some of us relying on others for help or support isn’t natural. We are supposed to be the nurturers and helpers for others. But none of us can live this life on our own. God created us for community, to love and support one another. So we each must not only give support, but be able to graciously receive help, as well.
So, don’t hide your need from those who love you. Let your family, friends, and church family be there for you. Give them the blessing of being a giver, too.
Serve someone else in need.
It’s so easy when we are discouraged to just stay home and hide. But helping others is a surprisingly helpful way for us to also help ourselves. When we focus on others and their needs, we are reminded of God’s blessings in our own lives, and we are encouraged with the feeling of usefulness.
Sometimes understanding the “why” behind what’s happening helps alleviate some of our stress.
If you are going through a tough time right now, I pray that you will lean into your Saviour, trust Him, and just keep on going. For I know that He will work it all out for your good…in His time…and in His perfect way! (Romans 8:28, Psalms 18:30)
Drawing nigh to Him,
LET’S TALK ABOUT IT.
Is life hard for you right now? Please share in the comments so that we may pray for you.
And know that God wants to help you through it. Seek Him. Are you His child? Then ask Him to search your heart and reveal anything that shouldn’t be there. Once you surrender that to Him, His Spirit will fill you up with His peace and joy and strength to weather the hard time. God loves you and will deliver you! In His time. Trust Him!
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