Follow God’s will. Don’t waste your time and energy trying to search for God’s will for you in the midst of your tough time, as if it was a hidden mystery. You can already know God’s will for you in the midst of any type of hardship: God’s will is for you to grow into a closer relationship with Him that translates into displaying Christ-like behavior regardless of your circumstances. Recognize that the problem is not that people have difficulty figuring out God’s will and what pleases Him; it’s that they tend to ignore what God has already told them (in the Bible) during tough times. Decide to follow God’s will for you to develop more holiness in your life during tough times.

Ask the right questions so you can make the right choices. Whenever you’re facing decisions about what to do during a tough time, ask yourself: “Is the choice I’m considering contrary to what God says through the Bible?”, “What are my motives?”, “Are physical or emotional conditions (such as fatigue, hunger, or stress) inhibiting my ability to make the right choice?”, “Will this choice become a burden in my life?”, “Will this choice be a stumbling stone to others in their faith?”, “Will this choice honor God?”, “Will this choice impact your church and service within the body of Christ?”, “How will this choice impact my family?”, “What advice do godly people I know give me about this?”, “What does common sense tell me to do?”, “Do I have peace about doing this – and why or why not?”, “Am I getting ahead of God and not trusting Him?”, “What have I learned from past experiences that I should apply to this decision?” and “What do I believe God wants me to do?”

Spend time with God often through prayer and reading the Bible. During tough times, it’s especially important to stay connected to God through prayer and reading His Word, the Bible. Pour out your prayer requests to God with the confidence that He cares and is always listening, but make sure that you’re asking God to do what He knows is best for you rather than just trying to convince God to do only what you want. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you bring your prayers into alignment with God’s desires for you. Get biblical truth into your soul regularly by hearing, reading, studying, memorizing, and meditating on the Bible.

Receive the peace that Jesus offers you each day. Make a daily habit of looking beyond what your tough circumstances to Jesus – and accepting His invitation to receive spiritual peace that transcends the hardships you’re currently encountering.

Adapted from Finding Strength in Tough Times: A Biblical Approach for Conquering Life’s Hardships, copyright 2012 by Ron Wagley. Published by Russell Media, Boise, Idaho, www.russell-media.com.  

Ron Wagley retired in 2007as President, CEO, and Chairman of TransAmerica Insurance, a leading insurance and financial services company. Wagley is an active speaker on faith-based leadership principles in the workplace, and has led spiritual leadership workshops for various organizations and churches. He and his wife of 50 years have two married children and five grandchildren.

Whitney Hopler is a freelance writer and editor who serves as both a Crosswalk.com contributing writer and the editor of About.com’s site on angels and miracles. Contact Whitney at: angels.guide@about.com to send in a true story of an angelic encounter or a miraculous experience like an answered prayer. 

Publication date: October 15, 2012