“The Resurrection of Gavin Stone” is a film that follows a washed-up child star and a troubled actor who is forced to fulfill his community service sentencing at a local church. Gavin Stone puts on the performance of a lifetime by pretending to be a Christian in the annual Easter production. Stone discovers the bigger picture that God still has a good plan for his life, despite his checkered past. Like Stone, all of us need to walk things out to find what God has for us and many times it is a blind faith. When we feel like we are being swept away by negative events, we need to know that God will be our anchor. Stone was struggling to find a sure thing. He couldn’t find it in a career or in the external things, but he found it in Christ. We can find this strength as well. In Lamentations 3:20-21 it said that we need to hold onto hope: “I will remember them, and my soul downcast within me. Yet, this I call to mind and therefore I have hope.” Remain, steadfast friend, here are 6 ways to find God in the midst your deepest struggles.
Find hope in disappointment.
Prayers often seem to go unanswered and the resulting wait can really drain you of any residual hope. We have heard that all things work together for our good, but that can be difficult to remember when going through life’s trials. God will work it out for the best because He is good. Like Stone, in the midst of struggles we are hard pressed to remember there is a bigger picture and God is working it out. If we abandon hope, give up on God then the enemy the battle is lost for the faithful. Life is hard, but without God’s gift and the hope it brings, it would be infinitely harder.
Accept that we will have trials.
We can go through the Bible to read about people experiencing great suffering. Look at David, Moses and Jesus Christ—all of them struggled while they were on earth. Times have changed, but people still experience trials and tribulations, although perhaps not to a Biblical proportion. James 1:12 talked about the trials we will have. However, we are called blessed at the same time. If you don’t press on, attempt to overcome, you may never know what God has for you.
Change your perspective.
You never know how God is going to use a situation for the good. You might not see it for years. It is easy to become overwhelmed by circumstances and to kick patience to the curb. Instead, adopt the mindset that you will get through this. You are more than an overcomer in Christ. Look to God now and read Scriptures to help you through this time to combat nagging thoughts of self-defeat. When we change our perspective, we can change our inner dynamics. Try this Scripture from Timothy: “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline." Talk about inspiration! This makes you feel better already!
Lay it all down.
When we give things to God and turn over our control--we can find peace. For example, perhaps you’ve tried for years to start a family, but it just hasn’t happened yet. Try talking to God, “If this brings you more glory that I never have a family, so be it.” Perhaps relinquishing control shows God your willingness to allow Him to work. It takes the burden off of you as well. This doesn’t mean you stop looking for opportunities, it means you are resting and allowing God to move on your behalf. Give yourself a break from the worry and lay it all down at the altar.
Watch your thoughts.
When the enemy launches attacks on you and your mind, it is very easy to be led astray. Fix your thoughts on Jesus--replace your fears with His presence. Do not accept anything but the truth. If you’re accepting thoughts that you will never amount to anything—cast it down mentally and verbally. 2 Corinthians 10:5 talks about destroying these speculations, “and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” Choose the path of truth today by speaking life into your darkness and power over the given situation. You can find God today by choosing His thoughts. Likely you will find He has been speaking to you all along!
Find yourself an army.
There is power in groups. Jesus said, “If two or three gather in my name, there am I with them." Flying solo can be dangerous for us in the midst of struggles. Find people to lift you up and support you during your trial as the enemy will use trials to isolate you. When we are struggling, we need people to remind us that God is there in the light and in the dark. Talk with people who have been through something similar. Ask them to share their testimonies. Remember the enemy wants nothing more than for you to remain isolated. It prevents you from finding strength and a community to encourage you. Finding God during our deepest struggles is a fight. Most of the time we can’t see the bigger picture because all we see is challenges. Some valleys will last longer than others. Just like Stone, sometimes you just have to make mistakes in order to get on the right path. Is it easy? Positively not, but you can find the anchor of Christ to hold on to even if your knuckles are turning white from the stress. Natural disasters, poverty, hate and chaos may ensue while we are on earth. But allow God into the darkness and allow Him to shine a light on your deepest struggles, and you will find peace, hope and love.