Navigating Hard Times

Tough Times?

Matthew 6:34
Psalm 46:1

We all go through trials. Whether we get any benefit from them depends on HOW we go through them. What about when they seem too intense and overwhelming? One thing I found has really helped me when the intensity of a trial is high, is to practice “narrowing my focus.“

Here is what I mean by that:

Keep trusting. Moment by moment.

If I think about tomorrow and the next day or next week, the pain and sadness and depression and all of that comes crashing in, and it feels like it is way too much to carry.

So I crank up some great praise and worship playlists on YouTube (just search Christian praise and worship, or Hillsong playlist, contemporary Christian playlist, on YouTube, and you’ll find playlists of 50 to 100 songs that are awesome). I keep them cranked up on my TV, my iPhone, etc., and then I stop thinking about or worrying about tomorrow. I just live in the moment. Trusting God moment by moment.

I ask myself:
Do I have food and shelter? (Yes).
Do I have air to breathe? (Yes).

So God has met all my needs. I just need to relax and trust Him for the moment.

“Godliness is a means of great gain, when accompanied by contentment….
If we have food and shelter, with these we should be content.“
2 Timothy 6:6,8

The heavier the trial, the more I narrow my focus.

If you’re trial is super heavy, just focus on making it through the next hour and praising God. Or focus on just making it to lunch, or just making it to dinner. Spend your time praising and worshiping Him, crying out to Him, praying for others, etc.

This practice of narrowing your focus is scriptural:

“Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself“.
Matthew 6:34

Notice it is a command. So if we are worrying about tomorrow or next week, we are disobeying this command, and we are stepping outside of God’s flow of power and blessings into our lives and trials. God gives enough grace for today, but He doesn’t give grace for tomorrow until tomorrow comes.

“God is our refuge and our strength – AN EVER-PRESENT HELP IN TIMES OF TROUBLE.“. Psalms 46:1

Notice it says that He is giving help… and refuge… and strength… moment by moment (ever-present). It doesn’t say He is giving the strength to us today for tomorrow. Sometimes we borrow tomorrow’s problems and bring them back to today and worry about them today. But those problems from tomorrow do not come with a dose of God’s grace to deal with them. He doesn’t give the grace for tomorrow’s problems until tomorrow comes.

But you can count on this!: He WILL continue to be your ever-present, moment-by-moment help and refuge and strength today. And when tomorrow comes, He will do the same… and the next day, and the next. Just don’t focus on those future days today.

Live in today. Live in the moment. Enjoy his CURRENT ever-present help and refuge and strength NOW, THIS moment, and then the next moment and the next.


Tonight, try this: put your head on the pillow. Turn all your cares and worries and anxieties over to Jesus. Tell Him that you are releasing all your problems and laying them at the foot of His cross and giving them to Him. Envision it. Then feel the love of God wrapped around you like a blanket – like a warm daddy’s hug.

Then just sleep peacefully. You can always pick up your problems and worry about them tomorrow. Just make a commitment that you won’t do it today. When tomorrow comes do the same thing. Give yourself full permission to worry the following day, but just not today. Just keep postponing the worry by one day.


When the intensity of the trial is high,

1) Narrow your Focus!

2) Don’t worry about tomorrow.

3) Keep trusting moment by moment.

4) Lay it all down each night

5) He WILL carry you through with His ever-present help and refuge and strength.

6) Then I believe He will Relieve, Rescue, Reward, and Re-use.

In my own life I’ve seen this. He always relieves and rescues from the trial eventually – whenever He is finished working through it in my life, teaching me whatever He needs me to learn from it.

And then, so far, he has always rewarded in some way related to the trial. When I went through a job trial, I was rewarded with a better job. When I went through a financial trial, I was rewarded with more finances, etc.

And then He always uses my experiencing that trial in the lives of others. He brings people across my path going through something similar, and I am able to encourage them to trust God the same way and to wait for his rescue and reward. This is scriptural:

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.“
2 Corinthians 1:3-4