BLOG

When Life is Hard, God is Near

Jesus Calling Blog by Mark Eaton

As a young husband and father of two, holding down two jobs and taking extra work, life was hard.

But no one is supposed to say that, especially in faith circles.

To some, admitting life is hard implies God is not enough for me, that my faith is small, that I’m ungrateful.

Some say life is filled with blessings if we say and do the “right” things. I call this “fake-it culture.” Good reader, I can tell you with confidence, I was wearing myself out doing the “right” things—and it caught up with me.

I was 32 and directing a multi-state, multi-faceted youth program that was making huge impacts. My staff was talented. My children were doing well. My wife and I had the makings of the American Dream.

Until depression hit.

I’d managed to hold off the dark feelings for years, but a launching event finally pushed me toward the truth: I was not doing well. In my quest to achieve and do and say the right things, I’d put my faith in the hollow belief that nothing bad happens when people follow the right formula. How wrong I was.

I had fallen victim to fake-it culture.

It took a few months, good friends, and wise older folks to guide me through some dark nights. Eventually, I came to know who I was and whose I was. I understood that life was hard, but God was going to help me through. Faking died. Depression yielded.

In western Washington, where I’m from, it rains. A lot. When I was younger and framing houses, the only ones who griped were the Southern California boys—good framers but lousy attitudes. They were miserable and went back to sunny skies. The rest of us joked and whistled our way through the slop. It is Washington. It is supposed to rain.

Just like the rain, problems will come. God doesn’t promise our journeys will be easy, but He does promise He’ll always be with us.

When suffering strikes, remember that I am sovereign and that I can bring good out of everything. Do not try to run from pain or hide from problems. Instead, accept adversity in My Name, offering it up to Me for My purposes. Thus your suffering gains meaning and draws you closer to Me. Joy emerges from the ashes of adversity through your trust and thankfulness.

Jesus Calling, October 14

As you reach for a “new you” in the new year, remember that no matter how many “right” things you try to do, sometimes you’ll come up short. You will have hard days. People and traditions come and go. Our lives change constantly, whether we like it or not.

The good news is we don’t have to let those setbacks keep us down. We can overcome the hard days. And the pain we feel is not in vain.

All suffering has meaning in My kingdom. Pain and problems are opportunities to demonstrate your trust in Me.

Jesus Calling, October 14

No matter what our lives hold, we can trust God will use everything, our opportunities and our problems, for good. It may be hard to see now. God may not begin to transform your pain tomorrow, or even next month. But He will bring you out of darkness if you trust Him to use you for His purposes.

He gave me hope on my darkest days. And He can do the same for you.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

– John 16:33 


Mark Eaton guest blogger on Jesus Calling blog

Mark holds a Masters in Global Urban Leadership with a focus on Theology. Currently he is Pastor at Cornerstone Church in Atoka, OK and travels with his wife, singer Susie McEntire, for joint speaking engagements and concerts. A veteran speaker and leadership advisor, Mark can be booked for events through EatonLeadership.org. He is a father to 3 children, and grandfather to 8. He is also a contributing writer for Rodeo News.

11 thoughts on “When Life is Hard, God is Near

  1. Fascinating how much this teaching resembles therapy! The goal is not to be free of problems — that’s impossible — but to cope … and to have help doing so.

    1. Learning to cope is a slow process, do not rush the process.Take your time, get lots of rest. Through it all good will come. Pray ,trust, have faith.

  2. Sometimes I feel that I just can’t cope with the death of my husband. To think he will not be near me. I keep wanting to know that he is ok and happy and at peace.

    1. Trust that he is with God. I lost my husband 17 years ago. I remember the days I stayed in bed and cried out to the Lord for help. I told Him & myself that I wanted to live a life to honor my husband and to be able to see him again when I pass. It’s extremely hard but you can and will survive. I find I reach out to new widows now because I’ve been there. Helping others also helps me. You are in my prayers. Just remember every day brings its own joy. Trust Him.

    2. Check out this website for people who are grieving the loss of a loved one. Griefshare.org you may be able to find a support group near you. I also adcise signing up for their daily emails. I too am a widow and found great encouragement here. God bless you.

  3. I got this at the moment I was being tried and one of biggest trails I had in a while.Depression hit me hard,I didn’t know if it was possible keep pushing on when It hurts to breathe all I feel is pain an thought made me physically sick .I am my own worse enemy but there is Power in the Name of Jesus.!! Prayer brings me threw my trail an tribulation.No matter what life brings I remember God’s promise and I know his ♥️ Love is Eternal an everlasting.Cant never could!!! For it is written I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!!So Devil get behind me for I’m a child of God and I will not be deceived your lies the an crock of bullsnot you are trying to sell today.Alwalys Remember were not alone God’s is with us he will Never forsake or leave us,or put anything anything on us we can’t bear.Hes always on time im keeping head held high Dearing the storm.I absolutely love this blog and can’t get enough of it!!it brings me threwevery day life and my hardest times in life.Im so blessed even tho I think I might bend an break I remember an you can’t break something already broken!! He puts all my beautiful broken but yet not shattered peices together an makes a master peice that is priceless and I’m truly blessed with a wonderful gift in life ❤️❣️ I’m grateful an speechless that I did it an only because of his Mercy and Grace I am Alive bc I have a savior that died for me and Concord the world for a sinner. I praise God in everything I do bc he thought he thought I was worth saving!! I’m Eternally grateful for the opportunity to be a servent of the Lord.

  4. I totally understand months, even years of depression & isolating. I’m diagnosed Bipolar, inherited from my father. I’m now 63 (people think I’m in my early 50’s Praise God!! 🙂 ). Since age of 17 I have been in the hospital 8 X’s. I now go to a totally awesome Spirit-filled Church with many awesome friends keeping me lifted in prayer. I love God’s Word & read many excellent, encouraging Scripture-based books. You can really trust that God’s Promises are absolutely true!! I watch TBN a lot & stay tuned into K-Love Radio!! God is @ work in our lives & I am SOO thankful for that!! Release the Holy Spirit to work in every area of your life & get ready for a joy-filled life with help from Godly friends!!

  5. WOW! Talk about a poignant message coming around about the time that I needed it.

    The last six plus months I’ve been dealing with a lot but what I’ve been dealing with more than anything is constant, relentless, unwavering pain that began 9 days before September 4th and it took nearly six months to get a specific diagnosis of a torn rotator cuff in my right shoulder. The pain has made it difficult for me to do much of anything around my house, made it difficult for me to sleep so I have had bouts of sleep deprivation over the six months off and on that will last anywhere between 1 to 2 or 3 days and it is also made like traveling to and from work difficult because I can’t drive one of the vehicles that my husband and I possess because I can’t drive stick shift so I’ve had to rely on rides from other people so with most of my issues stemming from the present pain in my shoulder I have done everything but be still, wait, trust and believe on and in God because the pain even make thinking difficult and texting which I’m trying to do while I’m composing this comment.

    I know it’s seems easier to kick and scream and have a fit or try to run from the pain or hide from the problems that stem from the pain and weakness but it’s easier instead to accept adversity in the name of Jesus, offering it up to Him for His purposes. Thus my suffering gains meaning and draws me closer to Him. I have to choose Joy because resenting the pain will keep me from emerging from the ashes of adversity through my trust in and thankfulness for Jesus. He hung on the cross in pain without complaining, without screaming, without resenting the cross instead he embraced. Jesus didn’t choose to endure the pain because He wanted to He chose to endure the pain because he had to because it was God’s will so even though I don’t know why God has me going through pain right now my choice will either be to accept it or resent it so I will do everything within the power God gives me to accept it and hope that there will come a day when I will no longer be in pain even if that means that it won’t be until I’m on the other side of Heaven.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.