6 Keys to Thriving in the Hard Seasons

6 Keys to Thriving in the Hard Seasons (from Psalm 42) When the hard days come, we can truly thrive as we trust His faithfulness and choose to give Him the praise He is due.

Financial crisis. Health issues. Relationship struggles.

Hard seasons come for all of us. And sometimes it just feels like we’re never going to make it. I’ve been there … and there’s a good chance I’ll be there again at some point.

Life is full of hard days, difficult seasons. Sometimes we can see them coming. We can brace ourselves for the storm. But other times, we’re blindsided, caught totally unaware.

We know we’ll survive … it’s not that we think the storms will completely destroy us. But we want more, don’t we? We want to learn how to thrive. Even when the winds of life are deafening, we long for that gentle whisper of the Lord. So how do we get there?

6 Keys to Thriving in the Hard Seasons (based on Psalm 42)

So when the hard days come, we can truly thrive as we trust His faithfulness and choose to give Him the praise He is due.

6 Keys to Thriving in the Hard Seasons

Often, when I’m struggling or feeling big emotions, I find myself turning to the Psalms. David and the other psalmists seemed to know about being overwhelmed, disappointed, rejected, and alone.

Psalm 42 is one I find myself leaning into when I’m in those hard seasons.

In these verses penned by the sons of Korah, I’ve discovered six keys to thriving in those difficult seasons life inevitably brings.

Keep your desire on the Lord.

As a deer longs for flowing streams,
so I long for you, God.
I thirst for God, the living God.
When can I come and appear before God?

Psalm 42:1-2 CSB

Regardless of what life brings us, we need to intentionally set our hearts and minds on the Lord, keeping Him as the desire of our lives.

Remember your previous joy in Him.

My tears have been my food day and night,
while all day long people say to me,
“Where is your God?” 
I remember this as I pour out my heart:
how I walked with many,
leading the festive procession to the house of God,
with joyful and thankful shouts.

Psalm 42:3-4 CSB

When we find ourselves struggling to see the good in our circumstances, it’s incredibly helpful to remind ourselves about all the ways God has provided for and protected us in the past. Keeping a gratitude journal is a great way to do this. I typically spend some time on Sunday mornings recalling the blessings of the week before. I can go back to that list at any point as a reminder of the goodness of God in my life.

Acknowledge the tension between grief and joy.

Why, my soul, are you so dejected?
Why are you in such turmoil?
Put your hope in God, for I will still praise him,
my Savior and my God.
I am deeply depressed;
therefore I remember you from the land of Jordan
and the peaks of Hermon, from Mount Mizar.
Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your breakers and your billows have swept over me.

Psalm 42:5-7 CSB

Here’s the thing, we are rarely feeling only one emotion. We can feel both grief and hope. That tension is a good thing and we need to carry it wisely. Our grief and difficulties don’t diminish the hope we have in the Lord. Learn to hold them both, knowing both are opportunities to know the presence of the Lord.

6 Keys to Thriving in the Hard Seasons (from Psalm 42)

When the hard days come, we can truly thrive as we trust His faithfulness and choose to give Him the praise He is due.

Trust His faithful love.

The Lord will send his faithful love by day;
his song will be with me in the night—
a prayer to the God of my life.

Psalm 42:8 CSB

Sometimes we don’t feel very loved. We don’t see how God is at work in our circumstances. We can’t understand what He is doing. But even in those times, we can trust the faithfulness and love of the Lord.

Be honest with yourself and in your prayers.

I will say to God, my rock,
“Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I go about in sorrow
because of the enemy’s oppression?” 
My adversaries taunt me,
as if crushing my bones,
while all day long they say to me,
“Where is your God?”

Psalm 42:9-10 CSB

The Lord already knows your heart. He knows your thoughts before you think them. And He can handle your earnest questions and your honest doubts. Sometimes, the hardest part of these seasons is admitting to ourselves that we are struggling, that we wonder what God is doing, and even if He’s still good. But we can come to Him with all of those things and we can trust Him to remain near to us as we faithfully seek Him.

Choose praise.

Why, my soul, are you so dejected?
Why are you in such turmoil?
Put your hope in God, for I will still praise him,
my Savior and my God.

Psalm 42:11 CSB

“For I will still praise him.” Isn’t that the thing? To learn to praise Him even in the storm. I think about the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in Daniel 3. Remember their words to Nebuchadnezzar about why they wouldn’t bow down to his golden image?

If the God we serve exists, then he can rescue us from the furnace of blazing fire, and he can rescue us from the power of you, the king. But even if he does not rescue us, we want you as king to know that we will not serve your gods or worship the gold statue you set up.”

Daniel 3:17-18 CSB

No matter what, they made a decision to trust in the Lord, to praise Him. Even if …

I don’t know what you are facing. I don’t know what your “even if” is. But I do know this, our God is faithful and He is good. And whether we feel it or even believe it, His character and intentions toward us never change.

So when the hard days come, we can truly thrive as we trust His faithfulness and choose to give Him the praise He is due.

xoxo,

Teri Lynne

Enjoy this free printable with these six keys — tuck it away somewhere so you can remind yourself when the hard days hit that you can still thrive!

6 Keys to Thriving when the Hard Seasons Hit — based on Psalm 42.

Printable resource from Teri Lynne Underwood

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