You can do hard things. You really can. It might not seem like it at the time, but God has made a way when the trials and struggles in life seem to come at you in never-ending waves.
He was at it again. Crying, screaming, wailing on the floor. “I can’t do it Mama” he cried. With his toys piled high around him, he was convinced that he could play with all the toys but was incapable of putting them away. My three-year-old sure knew how to be dramatic and he certainly did not understand the concept that crying and screaming was going to be more of a pain for him than picking up his toys.
As I watched him my anger started to boil up.
Why did he do this to me?
Why was he making such a scene over something so trivial?
Why couldn’t I control this anger?
Why couldn’t we have just one peaceful day?
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Beautiful Girl, you can Do Hard Things
You can do hard things, by God’s grace. It is truly that simple. Our own systems, strength, and self-control will never be enough. But God’s grace and strength are enough.
I’m reluctant to admit this, but in light of full honesty, I’ll tell you. When my three-year-old was on the floor wailing, “I can’t do it Mama” and I felt rising anger, I succumbed to the temptation of my anger and sin.
“You can’t do it?! That’s fine! I’ll throw all your toys away.”
I’m not proud of that moment. In fact, it’s downright embarrassing. I lost it. I felt like a maid in my own home, and I was tired of picking up everyone’s things. From the oldest to the youngest in the house, I was sick and tired of cleaning up their messes!
By the end of that little episode, there was not just a three-year-old crying on the floor, there was a three-year-old and a 31-year-old.
We were both sitting on the floor crying with fear and confusion. What had just happened?
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV
So, how do we do hard things? When that anger, fear, or anxiety starts to rest upon us and it would be easier to submit to the sin, how do we do the hard thing and turn away?
Beautiful Girl, you can Do Hard Things
Our understanding pales in comparison to the understanding that that sovereign Lord of the universe has over our lives. In fact, the Bible tells us to turn away from our own understanding. Our understanding is weak and prone to temptation and sin.
Motherhood with little young sinners is always going to be tough. Yet a crying child that is rebelling against rules and order is an opportunity for grace. My own understanding of the situation points me to anger and disgust. Yet God tells me to trust in his wisdom. We have been tasked with raising these little men and women who someday will choose Christ or chose sin. Our actions are leading them to or away from salvation.
You can do the hard things, but only by the grace of God.
One of my favorite worship songs has these lyrics in the chorus,
Lord, I need you oh I need you
Every hour I need you.
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need you.
He is your defense. When the hard things start to mount, it is time to call out to him.
Three Practical Ways to Call out to Jesus When things get Tough
- Stop and pray
- Stop and worship
- Stop and read your Bible
I want you to notice the key part in each of these three practical ideas. STOP.
When situations arise that cause our emotions to swell up inside and we know that temptation is upon us, the best thing we can do is STOP.
The heart is deceitful above all things,Jeremiah 17:9 ESV
and desperately sick;
who can understand it?
The Bible tells us that apart from Christ our heart is deceitful and turns to evil on its own.
5 Powerful Bible Verses about Trials and Struggles
Mama, you can do hard things, but your own wisdom will not guide you to correct decisions. The only solution is to trust in a God that has the power to make your paths straight.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV
My little example of my 3-year-old son throwing a temper tantrum is not the greatest example of trials and struggles. There are many other struggles in this world that truly can cause us to despair. James 1:2-4 tells us that our trials actually can cause our faith to deepen. It may not be fun while we are going through it, but in the scope of eternity, it is completely worth it.
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.James 1:2-4 ESV
Have you ever read in 2 Chronicles about the trial and struggle that King Jehoshaphat faced? It is an incredible story, and it seems hopeless at times. My favorite verse in this passage is when King Jehoshaphat basically gives up and finally declares this:
“We don’t know what to do, but our eyes are on you!
When you are at the end of your ability to deal with a struggle or temptation, sometimes it's okay to declare that you don't know what to do. Turn your eyes toward Jesus.
We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair;2 Corinthians 4:8 ESV
Mama, you can do hard things because when you are in Christ you and be afflicted, but not derived to despair. Press on through whatever turmoil you are facing. In the big or the little remember that you are not driven to despair!
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.John 14:27
God's peace is waiting for you. Stop and ask for it.
What God says about Struggles
The Bible is full of scripture that reminds us that in this world we will have struggles. They are just a part of our existence in this world. We all have momentary struggles that tear at our hearts and wound our spirits. Yet we have hope in what Jesus said in John 16.
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”John 16:33 ESV
We have Hope in Jesus
So, what is the conclusion to all of this? Dear Mama, you can do hard things. When the world comes at you with temptation, sin, tough times, complex decisions, or just plain ole' life, you can do the hard things. Not because of any strength you muster on your own, but because of the grace of Jesus Christ working in your life to edify and strengthen you in His Word, His teaching, His love, and His strength.