How to draw near to God during long trials

Life isn’t always a smooth journey. Sometimes, it feels like a never-ending cycle of trials, heartaches, struggles, and anguish. For those who have endured abuse and a lifetime of unending trials, even the very cornerstone of their faith can feel like it’s shifting. Questions like “How can I draw near to God when I am struggling with faith?” become all too common. It’s crucial to understand that struggling with faith during trying times is common and is something the Bible addresses directly.

  1. Lean not on your own Understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6)

    • Considering the trials you’ve been through, it’s understandable to have doubts and questions. But in the book of Proverbs, we are instructed not to lean on our own understanding. Rather, we are to trust in God completely, acknowledging His sovereignty over our lives. This doesn’t mean we should stop questioning or searching for understanding; instead, it means trusting God even in our pain and doubt. In the midst of our struggles, it’s human nature to try to solve issues on our own, but God calls us to rely on Him.
  2. Draw Near to God (James 4:8)

    • James urges us to draw near to God, and in return, He will draw near to us. In the historical context, James wrote to early Christians who were struggling with internal divisions and external oppressions. His message is just as vital for anyone struggling today: drawing near to God, however difficult, is a step towards healing and peace. Keep in mind that this isn’t about physical proximity, but about a deep, intimate relationship with Him.
  3. God’s Comfort in Afflictions (2 Corinthians 1: 3-6)

    • Paul, once a persecutor of Christians, found in his conversion a God of all comfort. Despite his numerous trials and suffering, his faith in God did not waver. He saw his afflictions not as punishments but as opportunities to experience God’s comfort, which he could then share with others. This teaches us that in our deepest struggles, God not only provides comfort, but He also enables us to comfort others with the comfort we ourselves receive from Him.
  4. Trust in His Unchanging Grace (Hebrews 13:8)

    • This verse assures us of the constancy of Christ’s love and care. Contextually, the writer of Hebrews was addressing believers who were becoming complacent and falling away from their faith. Amid our life’s trials and tribulations, we can trust that Jesus Christ remains unchanged, unshaken, and steadfast in His love and grace towards us.

Struggles in life and crises of faith are undoubtedly challenging, but God’s word consistently reassures us of His everlasting love, mercy, and readiness to draw near to us. Draw closer to Him in your struggles, lean not on your own understanding, embrace His comfort and trust in His unchanging grace. Your trials aren’t a sign of God’s absence or disapproval, but they might be opportunities for your faith to grow and for God’s comfort to flow through you to others. Above all, remember not to isolate yourself during this time of struggle; find a community of believers to walk with you through this season of life. God indeed works in mysterious ways, and often His answers come through the hands and hearts of those who walk this earthly journey with us.