Have you ever been in a hard place where grief and despair wash over you in waves? Maybe you’ve experienced relationship heartaches, received a devastating medical diagnosis or suffered a disaster in your finances. Whatever that hard place is for you, know that you are not alone. Grace Fox found renewed hope in the midst of grief and despair. She shares how you can as well with three eternal truths that helped restore her hope during a season of life’s hard places.
I recently had the chance to chat with Grace Fox on an episode of Your Hope-Filled Perspective podcast. During that episode, we discussed how to find hope when life takes an unexpected detour that leads to a hard place (listen here: Hope When Life Takes an Unexpected Detour that Leads to a Hard Place – Episode 204). I’ve asked Grace to share more of her wisdom in today’s post.
Be sure to read to the end for a book giveaway!
(If there are affiliate links in this post, meaning, if you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a commission (at no extra cost to you)).
3 Truths to Restore Your Hope in Life’s Hard Places
By Grace Fox
Last year was only six days old when I said goodbye to a friend whose radiance, love, and laughter blessed everyone she knew. Two weeks later, I grieved the loss of another friend. Then a third, and a fourth.
A fifth friend, a ministry partner in his 30s, passed away in early March—on the same day my only brother was admitted to the hospital with COVID. Less than 48 hours later, he was on a ventilator and fighting for his life.
Grief washed over me like relentless waves, and my heart gasped for air. Sadly, another wave swept in five days later. This one arrived as an email from someone my husband and I loved and trusted. The message criticized my husband’s leadership in ministry and condemned my published devotional books. It nearly knocked me off my feet.
Perhaps you can relate. Grief and despair have washed over you, too, like wave upon wave. Maybe you’ve experienced betrayal in your marriage, or you’ve watched your adult kids make devastating choices. Perhaps you’ve wrestled with infertility or lost a child. Maybe you’ve received a life-altering medical diagnosis or suffered financial disaster. Your circumstances may look different from mine, but we both feel the pain.
If you are in a hard place, know that you are not alone. And know beyond a doubt that you are not without hope. Grief and despair could have drowned me during those difficult weeks, but God’s Word became my lifeline. I rose before dawn each morning to sit in the Author’s presence and read His love letter to me. Divine, eternal truths buoyed me and restored hope. Here are three truths I found especially helpful:
Eternal truths that restore your hope in life’s hard places
1. God Surrounds Us
Everyone encounters life’s hard places. It’s not a matter of if but when. We might feel afraid or alone, but the truth is this: God is with us. Psalm 125:2 paints a word picture to help us understand what this looks like. “Just as the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds his people, both now and forever.”
When we experience heart-wrenching situations, someone might come alongside and say, “Everything’s going to be okay. God’s got your back.” But the psalmist’s words infer something far deeper. They offer reassurance that God goes before us and behind us and encompasses us. (Psalm 139:7) There’s no better place to be than surrounded by God’s caring and powerful presence.
2. God Prays for Us
Life’s hard places can leave us gasping for air and wordless in prayer. The best we can utter is, “Help!” In times like this, we can rest assured that God knows our hearts and comes to our rescue through the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives. “And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.” (Romans 8:26-27 NLT) That’s so encouraging, right? But wait! There’s more: Jesus sits at God’s right hand and intercedes on our behalf, too. (Romans 8:34)
Knowing that friends are praying for me when I’m in a hard place always brings hope to my hurting heart. But knowing that the Holy Spirit and Jesus are both continuously praying for me restores my hope to an entirely different level.
3. God Restores Us
The hard place I experienced led me to seek comfort in the beloved twenty-third Psalm. That’s when the words “He restores my soul” came alive to me. (Psalm 23:3 ESV) They reminded me that God acknowledges our pain, but He doesn’t want us to linger too long in that place. He wants to heal our hurting hearts, mature us in the process, and repurpose our pain for others’ good and His glory.
It’s easy to lose hope in life’s hard places if we focus only on our circumstances and the pain they bring us. But we’ll find our hope renewed when we focus on these three truths: God surrounds us, God prays for us, and God restores us.
How do you maintain hope in life’s hard places? We’d love to hear in the comments below.
About Grace Fox
Grace Fox is the award-winning author of 13 books and a popular Bible teacher at international women’s events. She’s also a member of the “First 5” writing team (Proverbs 31 Ministries) and co-hosts the podcast “Your Daily Bible Verse.” A career missionary for nearly 30 years, Grace lives with her husband aboard a sailboat in Vancouver, British Columbia. Married in 1982, they celebrate three grown kids and eleven grandchildren.
Her latest release, Fresh Hope for Today: Devotions for Joy on the Journey, is available wherever Christian books are sold.
Connect with Grace Fox: Website / Facebook / Instagram
In conjunction with this post and the podcast interview, Grace is giving away a free copy of her book, Fresh Hope for Today.
Leave a comment below sharing with us one thing you learned about restoring hope in the midst of life’s hard places and you will be entered into the contest for your chance to win a copy of her book.
You could also share this blog post on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter then comment here to tell us where you shared it and you’ll also be entered into the drawing.
The winner will be selected at random and announced next Monday, March 19, 2023. Continental United States only.
A reminder that a simile word – “Help” – is all I needed to remember when I feel overwhelmed just to cry this out to my loving Lord. Thank you for the reminder ❤️✝️
Hi Debi. I, too, have used the single word “help” when praying. Sometimes that’s all we can utter, but God knows and understands.
As I went through an incredibly difficult time in my life, I learned to lean into God and His Words though they were a life raft, which they were.
I also posted this on Tweeter.
Hi Edwina. God’s words are so rich, and He always knows what we need and when we need it 🙂
I am so excited that God surrounds us in the midst of our trials, difficulties and pain. It is no accident that I read this blog as I am finding my broken heart can no longer take the estrangement from my younger son. He is upset over a choice I made to move next door to my older son and feels slighted. I tried to find a place near his home, but it was so expensive to live in this location. Now he feels justified to cut off all contact with me from his family. God has sustained me for the last year but now it’s into another year with no contact or response to my call, emails or cards. I keep saying “This too shall pass,” but it still seems like he is unmoved and uncaring. May I trust the Lord to be my comfort and give me peace that “this too shall pass,” in His timing. Thank you for the ways to keep my hope in the Lord.
Hi Kathleen. I am sorry to hear about this estranged relationship with your son. That must be so painful. Know that you are loved, and the Lord knows every tear you’ve shed. He holds you close to His heart, my friend.
I have shared this post in an email with my oldest son who just went through a divorice he did not choose. His faith is helping, but I believe your story along with your 3 truths will help him immensely. Thank you.
By the way, I would love to read about life on a sailboat. It sounds wonderful. (I have been on a sailboat and know it is also hard work) Thank you for being you & sharing.
Hi Leah. I pray, too, that this article will encourage your son. Thank you for passing it along to him.
Yes, life on a sailboat is interesting indeed. It’s definitely something God called us to do. That’s what holds me in place when challenges arise!
To be perfectly honest, I have been through so much that I am having a really hard time hoping. I won’t detail all here. Thank you and God bless you for your ministry!
May God strengthen and encourage your heart, Harold.
Solid WORD delivered with grace and truth. you are a gift to the body of Christ!
“Everyone encounters life’s hard places. It’s not a matter of if but when.” How do I maintain hope? Faith? Refresh button. Again and again. In those times when I have almost lost hope I have to go back to His promises. Keep on praying, I say to myself. Keep on trusting. But sometimes it’s so hard. Matt 6:33, “ Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.” Thank you Lord for reminding me again to keep my face upward looking to You! God’s job isn’t my job.
This is such a wonderful post; I’m sure it will help many. I’m thankful that you’re using your hard place to help and encourage others, Grace. I love how you described the Holy Spirit and Jesus interceding for us: I’ve never thought of it as them praying for us before, but that makes perfect sense. This will stick with me for a long time. Thank you for sharing, Michelle!
I am lifted up in my spirit by knowing God surrounds me. The Holy Spirt prays for me. I praise His Name