We all need truth to hold onto in life — for the trial of a life-shattering crisis, or for the discouragement that comes from months of persevering in life’s daily demands. We all need something strong to stabilize us in life’s difficult seasons. One of the most difficult seasons of my life came when our three-year-old daughter suffered a debilitating illness for nearly two years.
The illness left our normally vivacious child unable to eat or speak for months at a time. We pursued the best medical treatment in the country, researched her condition tirelessly, and prayed with all our hearts. Finally, shortly after her fourth birthday, the severity of her condition lessened, and by the time she was five, it had nearly disappeared.
Throughout the most difficult stretches of our family struggle, these five promises regularly reminded me that God would carry us through the trial. In the years since the ordeal, these words from Scripture continue to be an anchor for my soul. No matter what part of your life is difficult right now, if your hope is in God, these promises will hold true for you as well.
1. God goes with you.
“It is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)
Above all else, our comfort comes from knowing that God won’t abandon us when life becomes challenging, uncertain, or painful. He is faithful to stay with us (Matthew 28:20). His faithfulness doesn’t mean that life will be easy or trials won’t come; his faithfulness means he won’t ever leave us, even when the trials come. We can cling to this promise when we feel misunderstood, betrayed, and abandoned. The Lord will never abandon his children.
2. God will accomplish his will.
The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me. (Psalm 138:8)
It was difficult to see that God was working to fulfill his purpose in our lives when our daughter was chronically ill. Years later, I am convinced that he used this trial to instill a deep well of compassion in our child. He used it to teach her parents to trust him with their precious child. He worked in our hearts after she was healed to cultivate a deep gratitude for the healthy lives we once took for granted.
3. God gives wisdom.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. (James 1:5)
We can trust that when we ask God for wisdom, he will make clear all that we need to know. It’s easy to shoulder the heavy weight of trying to search out every answer to a particular problem. God’s promise is that if we ask, he will show us what we need to know — maybe not everything we want to know, but everything we need to know in order to glorify him.
Whether it’s a conscientious father who doesn’t want to make the wrong career choice for his family, or a mother mulling various diets or medications for her children, we can trust that God will direct our steps (Proverbs 3:5–6).
4. God will meet you.
Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. (James 4:8)
It’s comforting to know that when I seek the face of my Father, he promises to meet me. God is not only “with me” in a general sense, but he draws near to me personally. I might not feel a tangible encounter, but I can trust that he is listening and that he wants to meet with me. When difficult times arise in our lives, it’s tempting to grow frustrated and even bitter. In our bitterness, we’re tempted to turn away from God. But he longs for us to draw close to him, and he promises to draw close to us.
5. God works where you cannot see.
“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” (Isaiah 43:19)
God calls his people to trust in what is not yet seen. Though a desert is before them, he is preparing to send a river of deliverance. We can cling to the same promise. When we cannot see what the hand of God is doing, we can trust that he is working all things for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28).
If life has you discouraged today, take heart. God is always working. Cling to the promises in his word, and rest your life on them. His word will never return empty, and you can trust him to fulfill every promise.