4 Encouraging Bible Verses for Hard Times

Ever wish life could be peaceful, free from; fear, sickness, failures, trials and temptations?

Well, we all want that, but we live in a fallen world.

There will be times of increase, good health, and promotions. There will also be moments of frustration, failure and disappointment.

But God has given us his word to encourage and uplift us in difficult times, to correct us when we mess up and to build our faith. Focus on scriptures and believe that God will come through for you the way he has promised.

Here are four bible verses that will encourage you in hard times;

When Dealing With Anxiety

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Philippians 4:6(NIV)

Are you feeling anxious?

Well, here is the thing, worrying won’t change your situation; it will only leave you depressed.

Paul encourages us to pray about every situation in this verse. 

Turn the big and small stuff you are worried about to God in prayer. Stop trying to fix everything on your own. Surrender them to God and thank God for handling your situation. He loves you and is always ready to help you.

Keep believing in Him, and he will never let you down. 

When You Are Afraid

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Deuteronomy 31:6(NIV)

We all deal with different kinds of fear.

The devil keeps bombarding us with thoughts of death, failure and shame. There are also different kinds of experiences, new ventures and responsibilities that leave us fearful. We wonder if we will measure up or if people will like us.

The truth is we will never get rid of fear, but we can face these challenges courageously because God is with us. Don’t be afraid of people, the devil or situations that seem impossible.

Be strong and do what is required of you. God is with you. He is helping you through it all.

No, you don’t see him, and you may not feel his presence, but he is there, and he will not abandon you.

When you are in Trouble

And call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me.

Psalms 50:15 (NIV)

Whom do you run to when in trouble?

Do you go to the experts, friends, family or God?

Well, it is not wrong to ask for help from people, but it is better to run to God first. Honestly, most of us see God as our last option when he should be the first.

Run to him in your day of trouble. He has promised to deliver you and not just that by the time he is done, you will know that God is almighty and he is who he says he is.

When Going Through Trials

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

James 1:12 (NIV)

The word of God doesn’t promise us an easy life.

We will go through different trials and temptations in this world.

Don’t give up in the middle of trial and even if things don’t change now; we are promised great things in eternity. Love God and persevere. At the end of it all, you will receive the crown of life.

The enemy would like to make you believe that you are the only one that is going through trials, but that is not true. Know that every believer is going through various kinds of trials, but it is only those who endure to the end that will be crowned.

Don’t give up stand firm in God’s word. He loves you and is with you through it all.

3 Reasons Why You Need to Build Godly Friendships

3 Reasons Why You Need to Build Godly Friendships

One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Proverbs 18:24 (NIV)

Can you honestly say you have genuine friends? Or are the people you chat with on social media the only friends you have in real life?

Well, relationships are very important, and all through the Bible, we are encouraged to build healthy relationships.

If you don’t have any godly friends know that is never too late to start building such relationships.

Will it be easy?

No, creating new friendships is very challenging, especially for adults. Friendships are built with time, and they need commitment. Care needs to be taken because some people pretend to be believers, but they are wolves in sheep clothing.

Ask God to help you choose the right friends. He is the only one who knows people’s hearts. (Proverbs 22:24-25)

If you are a Christian loner that is struggling with the idea of having friends, here are three reasons why you need to build godly relationships;

Source of Encouragement

Look, the Christian life is not easy.

There will good and bad times. We are in a war with a real enemy who wants to destroy us.

The right friends will build you up when you are down. Since they are going through the same struggles, they will be there to help you.

There will be moments when you will feel like giving up, but your godly friend will hold your hand and help you to stand firm in the word. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)

With a lot of negative stuff being shared in the media and online, one can become discouraged easily, especially when going through hard times. Friends will hold you and help you to pull through the bad times.

They will encourage you to stand firm in the word and continue in it.

Godly Counsel

There are times we don’t know what to do in certain situations. Other times we may know what to do but, we don’t know how to go about it, or we may need a push from people who love us. That is where good friends come in.

Good friends will give us godly counsel. (Proverbs 27:17)

They will not tell you things that you want to hear. Instead, they will ensure to give advice that is backed up by scripture.

Accountability

A godly friend will not be afraid of asking you tough questions. Since they care about you, they will want to ensure that you are doing the right thing.

They will not judge you for making mistakes but will help you to remain true to your faith because they also care about where you will spend eternity. (Galatians 2:11-14)

The right friends will help you to grow in your spiritual walk. You will have people that will help you pray, and when you mess up, they will be there to build you up and help you see that you are in the wrong path through scripture.

Finding the right friends that love God is not an easy thing but will God’s help and guidance from the Holy Spirit you will connect with the right people that will help you, and you will also help them.

Four Ways Routines Help with Stress

Anxiety and stress love chaos. When you’re already feeling overwhelmed, anxious thoughts can sneak in and make everything so much worse. The best way to combat those feelings is to set up routines. A routine can be as simple as the order you do things in the morning before work or as complex as laying out a monthly production schedule. Whichever one you do, once it’s finished, you’ll feel loads better.

Let’s talk about the benefits of developing a routine:

Four Ways Routines Help with Stress

  1. It gives you a system. When your life is chaotic, your mind is chaotic. This can lead to decision fatigue. Should you shower before breakfast? When should you take the dogs out in the morning? If you write out a morning routine, those little, exhausting questions are answered, and your brain is freed from juggling all your responsibilities at the same time.
  2. It puts you on autopilot. Have you ever left work and spaced out the whole drive back to your house? It’s okay if you have, because this is an example of autopilot. Autopilot’s major benefit is allowing you to multitask, but it is also a routine that lowers your stress levels. If you think of your brain as a computer and yourself as a programmer, the more daily tasks you can program into autopilot, the less you have to stress about.
  3. Frees your mind. Once you have routines in place, your mind is free to work on other projects. If you want to not only be less stressed but also more productive, developing functional routines is the key. When we turn tasks into autopilot routines, we complete them faster and more efficiently than we would have by using our active brain.
  4. Helps you feel in control. Last, routines and rituals help you feel in control, which is the direct opposite of how anxiety makes you feel. There are so many things we can’t control in this life that being able to know where our keys are in the morning can go a long way in reducing stress levels.

Moving Forward with Routines

If you’re looking to establish new routines, the best way to get started is by listing all your morning tasks and arranging them into your first routine. It can feel strange at first, but after a week of having an established routine, you will be able to feel a difference in your stress levels.

4 Ways To Reduce Your Anxiety

Everyone experiences anxiety at some point. For some people, anxiety is a temporary, passing feeling. For others, anxiety can be a daily struggle. Seventy percent of adults in the United States have reported feeling stressed or anxious every single day.

Let’s talk about four ways to lessen your anxiety right now:

4 Ways to Reduce Anxiety Right Now

  1. Accept your Anxiety. The truth is, you can’t avoid the feeling of anxiety. Anxiety is natural, and accepting that you’re going to feel anxious sometimes is the first step to moving forward.
  2. Take some DEEP breaths. Make sure you’re breathing. When we get anxious, we tend to take short, quick breaths which can worsen our anxiety. Instead, when you feel  your heart racing, take deep breaths to activate your body’s relaxation response.
  3. Burn Essential Oils. When it comes to anxiety, nature’s got your back. There are plenty of essential oils that are soothing to our bodies, and burning them or rubbing them on your wrists can reduce the feelings of anxiety. Some of these essential oils are lavender, rose, and bergamot.
  4. Exercise. I know this one seems contradictory, but adding physical stress can lower mental stress. Taking a walk when you feel anxiety coming on is great, but adding regular exercise is even better. Exercise naturally lowers your stress hormones and releases endorphins, your body’s natural pain killers.

Bonus: Observe Your Surroundings

If you’re all the way in an anxiety attack, take a moment to observe your surroundings using the 5-4-3-2-1 technique. Observe:

  • 5 things you can see (your feet, the door, your puppy)
  • 4 things you can physically feel (the ground, a breeze)
  • 3 things you can hear (the television, birds chirping)
  • 2 things you can smell (lavender candle, coffee)
  • 1 thing you can taste (a mint, gum, the fresh air)

The Bottom Line

Even though anxiety can be a daily struggle, there are plenty of ways to reduce anxiety in the short term and in the long term. The best way to combat anxiety is to take yourself away from the source of stress. Acceptance, deep breathing, and essential oils can relieve your stress in the moment, and an exercise routine can reduce your stress overall.

3 Bible Verses That Teach Us About Peace

Peace, in the Bible, means to be (or feel) complete, sound. There’s a tranquility, a balance, an evenness. This feeling is something we all hope to get and keep. It brings happiness and sustains us. Here are some Bible verse about peace and how to get it.

 

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

Matthew 5:9

God does not like for us to cause strife or engage in it. He commands us to love one another and treat each other the way we want to be treated. We should always be kind to others and not start conflict unnecessarily.

 

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

We achieve peace through God and God alone. Nothing of the world can give us true happiness, pleasure, or peace. No matter what we do, we will never be complete without God’s love and care.

 

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulations. But take heart; I have overcome the world.

John 16:33

Again, God gives us peace. Know also that no one can take it away from you. A lot can be thrown at you (tribulations), but God is almighty and will take care of everything. Have peace in knowing that He has it, and there’s never a reason to despair.

3 Lessons about Suffering from the Life of Hannah

Because the Lord had closed Hannah’s womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her. This went on year after year. Whenever Hannah went up to the house of the Lord, her rival provoked her till she wept and would not eat. Her husband Elkanah would say to her, “Hannah, why are you weeping? Why don’t you eat? Why are you downhearted? Don’t I mean more to you than ten sons?”

1 Samuel 1:6-8

Suffering is part of life as long as we live in this fallen world.

Discouraging, right?

Well, yes, but we cannot run from the truth.

We need to learn how to handle pain and suffering, not just when it is happening but also before it does.

While we should not spend every waking moment expecting bad things to happen, we need to be prepared. We will lose loved ones, get disappointed,  there are things we want but will never have, or they may delay manifesting in our lives. All these will lead to pain and suffering.

One of the best ways to know how to handle suffering is through the life of Hannah in the Bible.

Hannah wanted a child, but God had closed her womb, and she suffered for it. Now, maybe she could have found a way of living with it, like adopt, but no, there was Peninah, always mocking her.

Are you going through something similar? There is this thing you have wanted all your life, but it is just not manifesting in your life. No matter what you do with your human effort, things are not working out.  All this is making you suffer mentally, physically, emotionally or spiritually.

But, why is suffering part of the Christian life?

 

Suffering is your Battlefield

It is through suffering that we learn how to fight our spiritual battles.

While Hannah had to deal with a real person, that is Peninah; we deal with Satan and his demons. He is there to taunt us just like Peninah did to Hannah. But, not just that he also wants to steal, kill and destroy.

How we deal with challenges is very important, we can let things overpower us by spending time feeling sorry for ourselves, or we can choose to handle our suffering spiritually as Hannah did.

 

Prayer is a Great weapon when you’re suffering

Hannah spent time crying, but it was when she chose to pray that things started working for her good.

Imagine if she had continued crying instead of praying.

If you are going through a difficult situation, then go deep in prayer. We are told to pray at all times. Praying shows that you trust God and are placing everything in God’s hands.

 

Suffering Tests and Stretches our faith

Something that stands out in this story is that God himself had closed Hannah’s womb.

Could it be that God is testing your faith?

Maybe what you are going through is God’s doing.  Peninah may have been busy mocking Hannah, but she forgot that Children are a gift from God and so it wasn’t up to Hannah but God.

God uses suffering to test and stretch our faith.

Hannah promised to lend her child to God. Now it takes faith to make such an immense promise. The suffering she went through stretched her faith to a level that she was willing to do that.

After all that Hannah went through, God blessed her with a son.  While we do not know much about Peninah’s children, we know that Hannah’s son Samuel became a great Prophet in Israel. The story of Hannah should encourage us to soldier on no matter what we are facing.

If we hold on to God’s word and go deeper in prayer, he will give us great and marvelous things that are beyond our imaginations.

Self Care: Being Your Own Caregiver

Self care isn’t just about pampering yourself with a day at the spa or nice relaxing evening after a stressful month. Sure, these things are wonderful, but self care should be planned and intentional, not something you fall back on once you have reached a stressful break-down. It is there to help you mitigate the accumulation of stress so that you never have to reach your wits’ end. It helps to think of self care as a beautiful garden that needs consistent tending to with water, light and proper nutrients. Waiting for the garden to dry up to a dire point and flooding it with water, albeit beneficial, isn’t nearly as effective. Self care can be implemented in any area of your life. Here are two of the most common areas people find it extremely helpful.

Physical Self Care

The physical body is usually the first thing that comes to mind when we think of self care. Physical self care is anything that supports or improves your physical body. This includes going to the gym, getting an adequate amount of sleep and taking care of your dietary needs. It also includes not ignoring medical issues, seeking the care of a nurse or physician when possible and taking any medications you are prescribed.

The goal of physical self care shouldn’t be to have a ‘perfect’ body or ‘perfect’ diet. The idea of perfection is likely to add to your stress which defeats the goal of self-care. Just aim to do the best you can, coming from a knowledge that your body is a temple and it glorifies God to take care of it (I Cor. 6:19).

Emotional Self Care

We are all emotional beings and emotional self care is all about allowing yourself to be and to accept your emotional self. With that being said, it is also about improving your emotional intelligence and learning to let go of the emotions that do not serve you and your well-being. This is no easy feat and takes a lot of practice so, like any other area of self care it is of utmost importance to approach it in a loving way. If you don’t know where to start, below are three actions you can take to support your emotional well-being.

Writing Down Your Feelings

Keeping a diary may seem silly to some, but it is an amazing tool when it comes to expressing and accepting your emotions. Without expression and acceptance emotions are difficult to get rid of. A journal helps you identify the negative emotions in your life as well as pinpoint the situations that trigger their appearance.

Finding What You Enjoy

Make time for what you enjoy. Find activities that you enjoy and find a way to do more of it. Whether this means reading a book in solitude or enjoying the company of friends, it’s important to do what brings you joy in life.

Practicing Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is like a muscle. You have to work on it in order to strengthen it. We all have room to grow and improve our emotional intelligence, but if you find that you are frequently in any of the situations below, improving in this area will make a profound difference in your life and allow you to have a powerful tool when it comes to caring for yourself.

  • You have a hard time identifying what you are feeling
  • You shut down instead of expressing your feelings due to frustration or inability
  • You find it almost impossible to stick to your plans when you are under stress like in the case of emotional eating.

There are many ways to improve your emotional intelligence. One way is by practicing introspection. This involves thinking about what you are feeling and asking yourself questions about why you feel the way you do.  You can then try delaying your negative reactions even if for only a few minutes. If you find that after receiving bad news you have a tendency to eat or drink excessively, try delaying that response. By delaying this response a little longer each time you will find it becomes easier and you will become more confident in your ability to control yourself. The goal here is to learn that your emotions do not have to dictate what you do in life.

The Self Care Attitude

It’s important not to approach you self-care plans from a place of guilt or perceived selfishness. Self care is as important to the people around you as it is to yourself. After all, as the saying goes, you can’t pour from an empty cup. Self care ensures that your well-being is taken care of, allowing you to show up and be committed to the important people and obligations in your life.

Remember self care does not end with your physical and emotional self. Virtually any are of your life can benefit from self care. This includes your spirituality, finances, relationships and professional life. Find the areas of your life that cause you the most stress and aim to truly care for yourself in those areas first.

Why You Should Let the Peace of God Reign in Your Heart

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

John 14:27 (NIV)

A lot is going on all around us today. Unfortunately, most of it is very disturbing. Switch on TV or sign in to your social media accounts and you will see or hear sad and scary real-life stories happening every single day.

Not just that our own lives are full of trials and temptations.

Jobs on the line, family disputes, health problems, business failure, are some of the things we go through.

So, what do we do?

As Christians, we need to live the way Jesus lived on earth. He said we would have trials and tribulations. So that means all the things that steal peace from our hearts will always be there one way or another, but we have to know how to handle them.

Despite the challenges, Jesus faced, one of the things that made Him standout was the peace he had. For example, He was peaceful when people insulted Him, when they wanted to push him off a cliff he slipped away peacefully, Jesus slept in the middle of a storm, and when they tried to stone him, he peaceful walked away in their midst.

Jesus had the peace that surpasses all understanding.

The good thing is you can choose to have that same peace of Jesus in your heart.

Worrying never takes your problems away. It only steals your joy and peace. Life has its ups and downs. You can never wait until everything gets better to live peacefully.

The world has come up with different systems and ways in which people can find peace. But most of the methods are temporary solutions. You need something substantial, and that is the peace of Jesus.

What are you going through right now? Are you letting the peace of God reign in your heart or are you busy looking for temporary solutions?

Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.

Ephesians 6:11 (NIV)

Here are things you should do to have the Peace of God.

  • Study scripture and Pray

Recognize that God is the true source of peace. Get verses about peace and study them. Meditate on these scriptures until they become alive in your heart. Then ask God to help you in whatever season you are in.

  • Stand firm

Stand firm in the word of God and believe that he has heard you and has filled your heart with peace. God will never fail you. You have to believe that everything will work out for your good in the end.

Defend your peace because the devil will try his best to steal it from you.

  • Focus

There more you focus on what is happening the more distracted you become and it leads to anxiety and depression. Shift your focus from the things that are happening in the world and fix your eyes on Jesus.

You have to let the peace of God to reign in your heart. God will not force it on you. When things seem to be working against you, choose to rest in the finished work of Jesus and let God’s peace rule your heart, let God make everything beautiful at the right time.

Mindfulness

What’s that?

Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations.

Why might I practice being mindful?

Mindfulness practices can help us to increase our ability to regulate emotions, decrease stress, anxiety and depression. It can also help us to focus our attention, as well as to observe our thoughts and feelings without judgment.

How can I be mindful?

1. Practice mindfulness during routine activities. 

2. Let your mind wander.

3. Practice mindfulness while you wait.

How do I support someone I know with an eating disorder?

Knowing how to support someone with an eating disorder can be so difficult. I’ve compiled bit of list of ideas that can help me and therefore help others to give people some ideas and help them to reduce their feeling of being helpless.
  • Get them to talk about something they’re passionate about flooding their minds with that positive thing!
  • Call them! You don’t have to talk about how you/they are feeling in life, but even just hearing what people are up to and talking about the good things in your week and yarning about the latest life dramas can be really calming and distracting because it feels so ‘normal’.
  • Get them out of the house or company, even if it’s just matter of running errands or studying together. This brings them out of their heads and into things that are productive and not food – centered.
  • Talk to them through their thoughts. This one is pretty intense so never feel compelled to do it, but sometimes taking the thing you’re worried about and showing it to someone else (metaphorically) helps you put that worry into perspective in terms of importance and look realistically at how you can deal with it.
  • Let them know when they’re disordered by something they say. Differentiating between one’s own thoughts and disordered thoughts can be really difficult at times, so it’s helpful to have someone say hey that’s talking about the ED.
  •  Steer conversations to a new topic when others begin to talk about diets / weight loss / other things that are likely to be highly triggering.
  • Message them when you’re eating and remind them that it’s a meal time and they must eat because their body needs it.
  • Reminders that: how they feel is temporary and passes, they deserve and need to eat, their value is not dependent on weight, they need to recover to accomplish all the dreams they have for their lives, they have survived their worst days so far, etc.