Surviving Tough Times

No doubt, one of the less popular realities in life acknowledges that we are either currently experiencing a difficult experience, have recently experienced a difficult experience, or are currently approaching a difficult experience.  We call this “life”.

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We all face tough times in our lives, and it is during such circumstances that we often ask ourselves, "How do I survive tough times?" Tough times are inevitable, but how we deal with them defines who we are. Instead of allowing these challenges to discourage and define us, we can use them as a foundation for growth and improvement.

In the Bible, James 1:12 illustrates the Christian perspective on enduring hard times: 12 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 (NIV).  This verse reminds us that challenges are opportunities for growth and blessings.

Now, you might ask, "What can I do when I'm in a mess?" The first step is to hold on to hope. Our faith in God's promises can be our stronghold, even in the stormiest trials. David did not lose hope in God during the adversities mentioned in Psalms, and we can take encouragement from his resilience.

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Secondly, it is essential to keep a healthy perspective during tough times. Understand that trials are temporary and are not there to break you but to strengthen you. Cultivating an attitude of perseverance, like Apostle Paul, who persisted in hardships, can help us navigate these circumstances.

Another crucial strategy is to be proactive, not reactive. It is easy to panic and react without thinking when undergoing tough times. Instead, being proactive enables you to take calculated actions. This relates to Joseph's life in the Bible, where he was proactive during prison and planned for the future.  Read the whole story beginning in Genesis 37.

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"I need a philosophy to better deal with life's challenges," you might think. A deeply rooted belief system based on Biblical foundations can be a powerful tool in overcoming adversities. Philippians 4:13 (NIV) perfectly encapsulates this philosophy:13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Praying for wisdom and guidance during difficult times is another powerful tool. In the book of James (1:5) {NIV}, scripture encourages us to ask God for wisdom - doing so in times of crisis can provide invaluable guidance

Establishing a strong support network is also essential during tough times. The church community can be this network, offering solace, encouragement, and practical help in times of trials.

One might be tempted to question God's plans when shrouded in tough times. However, Scripture promises that God will never leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). Knowing this and trusting God’s plan can help you endure tough times.

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Minimizing negative influences in your life is crucial, especially when going through hardships. Remember that toxic relationships, unhealthy habits, or corrosive entertainment can exacerbate our pain and struggles.

Pausing to regain your equilibrium is another critical step you can take when faced with challenging situations. This can involve engaging in activities that help you de-stress, such as taking walks, meditating on bible verses, or spending quiet time with God.

Another common Biblical approach to surviving tough times is being grateful. As stated in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, we should give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for us. A heart of gratitude can redirect your focus from your situation to God's unchanging goodness, bringing peace

Healthily expressing your emotions also helps. Bottling up emotions can lead to deeper emotional scars. It's okay to cry and express feelings of hurt or frustration. Remember that Jesus wept in John 11:35.

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Furthermore, it is crucial to take care of your physical health. Enduring tough times can take a toll on your body, and eating healthily becomes even more important, as getting regular exercise and plenty of rest.

Looking for purpose in pain can also bring healing. This idea can be traced back to Romans 8:28, where Paul tells us that God works all things for good.

Don't resist change. Often, tough times come with significant changes. Embrace these changes and look for how they can be used for your good or growth.

Lastly, consider seeking professional help if the situation warrants it. Counseling or therapy can provide coping mechanisms and strategies to deal with the emotional toll of tough times.

Overcoming tough times is not about eliminating hardships but finding strength, resilience, and peace within ourselves to persist. By turning to our faith, incorporating Biblical teachings, and reaching our support systems, we can navigate these challenges gracefully and become more assertive on the other side. Remember always that God is with you in your storm

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