Life isn’t always easy, and it definitely seems like some seasons are far more difficult than others. And the truth is that we can’t avoid the hurt and pain that comes with difficult circumstances.
Maybe you’re facing a difficult circumstance and you couldn’t have seen it coming. Or maybe you did see it coming, and the pain is still just as great.
Facing circumstances that could potentially unhinge everything you ever knew is nothing new for humanity. But when we’re under the pressure and anxiety of a difficult, life-altering circumstance, one of our greatest challenges is finding peace.
How can you find peace when you’re in the midst of a circumstance that could alter the course of your life? Here are three things.
1. Trust God. Not the people making decisions.
In the midst of difficult situations, there’s often a decision that needs to be made. The hard part? The decision that will eventually be made is completely out of your control.
When waiting on a decision, it becomes far too easy to be filled with fear, despair, frustration, or even hurt. The unknown is terrifying. When a decision is left in the hands of someone else, it feels like there isn’t anything you can do. But there is.
You can choose peace.
Choosing peace means trusting God with the decision being made, regardless of whose hands it’s in. It can be someone you love and trust or someone who has everything but your best interest in mind. It doesn’t matter who the decision maker is. God is the one you can trust.
Look at the story of Joseph. He was sold into slavery by his own brothers. They most definitely were not trustworthy, nor did they have his best intentions in mind. Then the Midianites turned around and sold him to an officer of Pharaoh. After all of that, he winds up in prison!
This entire time, Joseph didn’t get a say in what happened to him, where he went, or how he was treated. He was not the decision maker in any of these situations, and yet the outcomes all affected his life directly.
Now you may not be in a circumstance where people are actively seeking evil against you. But you might be in a place where you don’t get to call the shots. You don’t get to determine the fate of this situation that will dramatically affect your life.
So, how do you find peace when the decision is out of your hands? You trust God.
At the end of Joseph’s long journey, he declared to his brothers that what they meant for evil, God meant for good.
If we really trust the goodness and faithfulness of our God, then we can be filled with peace. We can know that regardless of anyone else’s intentions, God will use it for good. You might not see that goodness being worked out right away. But you can fully trust that God is true to his word.
2. Stay faithful to what you know you are called to do.
I don’t know about you, but when I’m faced with difficult circumstances, I try to run through every outcome in my head. I attempt to analyze and figure out the best way for me to respond in this situation.
Ugh. If only things were that black and white. It’d be nice to just be able to calculate the situation and know exactly how to move forward.
The trouble with difficult circumstances is there are usually other people involved. And that makes things far less black and white. There are other opinions, emotions, intentions, and thoughts involved in the situation you’re trying to navigate. To add to the difficulty, you probably don’t know the motives behind each person involved and that can change how you respond.
All of this to say, being stuck in difficult circumstances with other people makes things very messy.
In any circumstance, you are unable to bear the responsibility of other people’s actions. The one thing you can do is cautiously and prayerfully consider your own actions. What is your next step in resolving the difficult circumstance?
You have to stay faithful to what you know God has called you to do. This isn’t always easy, because it might be a difficult decision you have to make. It might mean a loss of relationship or a decision that will cost you more than you would like. But the only step forward is the one God has called you to take. He will work out the rest of the pieces that you don’t know.
In order to maintain peace in difficult situations, you have to remain obedient to what God is calling you to do. Regardless of the cost.
3. Be content with any outcome.
Your present circumstance might make you feel like you’re in the darkest valley of your life. And as you weigh all the possible outcomes, it might seem like only one of them will ultimately be good. And based on our human understanding of things, you could be right.
But if we truly know God to be trustworthy and faithful in all things, then we have to believe that he’s trustworthy and faithful even in those difficult, life-altering circumstances.
We can’t choose to only live this truth out if the one good outcome comes to pass. We have to live this truth out regardless of the outcome. It doesn’t matter how the circumstances is resolved. You can still find contentment in Jesus.
Contentment and peace aren’t based on your circumstances or the outcome of a particular situation. They’re based on knowing who God is. When we set our minds and hearts on him, rather than on an outcome, we can find peace even when the outcome is terrible.
Will it be hard? Most likely. Will it be painful? You bet. But the promise of God is not that our lives would be easy, but that he would be with us every step of the way. For us to know we can depend on him. We are not left in anguish.
God sees the difficulty of your circumstance–the pain you are enduring. He will never just leave you there.
And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
(1 Peter 5:10)
Even in the midst of difficult and painful circumstances, we can have peace.