Staying Motivated in Tough Times

Being motivated in the middle of a trial can be difficult. Most of the time, when I am in a time of trials, all I want to do is lay in bed and mope around. It is hard to pick ourselves up, keep going, and find the motivation to move forward every day.

As you go through this dark time of your life, shoot to remember five ideas.

  1. Start your morning off right. Instead of getting up and looking at how many troubles you have and slipping into that depressed state, turn your view towards God. Psalms 5:3 states, “In the morning, Lord, You hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before You and wait expectantly”. We should be greeting the day by looking to the Lord and asking Him to guide our steps. There is nothing wrong with asking Him for something your heart desires. At the moment, my desire in my time of darkness is to have a home of our own.

 

It is easy for me to wake up, look at my current situation and fall back into a depressed state about what I don’t have. Instead, I will wake up and talk to God. Setting my desires and hopes at His feet. Once I do that, I leave it with God. Let Him take care of your future. Don’t let your future sit on your shoulders.

 

  1. Deal with sufferings by looking at God’s glory. Romans 8:18 says, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” God is amazing. If we look at what He has already done for us instead of what He hasn’t reveled to us, we will start the day off wrong. I look back at what God has brought me out of this far and I am amazed. I often forget to see all the glory He has done and look at what is in front of me.

 

  1. Press on during the times of suffering. Keep going every day. Wake up and make it for the next hour. When that hour is done, make it for another hour. Keep going. I promise things get better. Philippians 3:13-14 says “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Focus your goal on living for Christ. Do everything for Him and His glory. Go serve others in this time of waiting. The more you do to distract yourself, the faster time will fly by.

 

  1. Let God set your steps. “The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.” Psalm 37:23-24. When we let God work in us He sets our steps. God won’t let us fall in life. Think about it. Throughout this time of suffering, has there been one moment when you have completely crashed and everything is gone? You still have air in your lungs, your heart still beats and that is all because of God. Look at what He has done so far. If He has done that, then He will lead your steps and set a future for you. Have faith in the Lord.

 

  1. God’s grace is sufficient. At the end of the day God has done a great deal in our lives. He has blessed us beyond compare and in that, we need to remember that God’s grace is sufficient. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  2 Corinthians 12:9-10. If God’s power is made perfect in weakness, then His glory is being done. What he means by this is that people can see God’s glory in the weakest parts of our lives. If everything was peachy keen and perfect, we wouldn’t need God. Life isn’t perfect and it will never be perfect. However, in our times of trouble, we should strive to let God’s glory be the main thing that sticks out of our trials. Let God get the glory in everything.

I won’t sit here and tell you that the future will be easy. I know from personal experience that it will never be perfect or easy.  I have had times of darkness and times of happiness. Throughout all of my trials, I have struggled and failed to see the positive in my life. I have come to a place of depression and a loss of hope; but in all of my dark trials, God has not left me. He was there through the first trial and He is there for me now. Please hold onto hope and focus on God during your trial.

If anyone ever needs someone to talk to, you are more than welcome to email me or find someone in your church to talk to. Just know you are not alone.

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The Church as a Hindrance

The church is a good place for us to grow and worship together; but can the church be a hindrance to our spiritual lives? Yes, but let me first explain. The church has been a huge part of my life since I was born. I grew up in the church and have volunteered in the church for many years. My church family has been a part of my life through some very difficult times. They have been there to pray for me, support my family, and encourage us.

However, living a life full of trials and tribulations has shown me that the church can be a hindrance in one specific way. Those who are going through a difficult time rely solely on the church and not on God. What do I mean by this? When I was in high school, I went through my parent’s divorce. It was a nasty and hard divorce that left me and my family broken and bruised. I turned to the church first instead of turning to God.

See, when we go through a difficult time, God wants us to rely on Him and to turn to Him before anything else or anyone else. Psalm 118:8 says, “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in humans.” NIV It is not that a church or the people in the church are bad or can’t help you but the church is not greater than God. No one is greater than God. So why, when we are in a tough situation, do we immediately call upon the church instead of God?

I think, often times, we turn to the church first before asking God for help due to of a couple of reasons. One, we can talk to someone face-to-face and hear their answer immediately. Sometimes God takes His time because there is another lesson He wants us to learn. It isn’t that He doesn’t want to answer or cannot answer us directly. If God decided to speak to me right here and right now about the troubles I’ve faced, He would do it. He did it with Moses in the burning bush and He can do it with all of us. The reason He doesn’t do that is because it would defeat the purpose of spending time with Him and would take away from the growth of our relationship with Him. In times of pain and sorrow or times of difficulty we should turn to God’s word and turn to prayer. God wants to hear from us just as much as we want to hear from Him.

Second, sometimes we can hide the bad stuff about ourselves and our situation to get a response that we want rather than the response God will give us. Have you ever heard the term, “it takes two to tango”? Well often times in a difficult situation, there are two sides to a story. Take my parent’s divorce for example. There were things said and done on both parts that ruined their marriage. It didn’t happen overnight and it wasn’t due to one simple mistake or one word said. If I were one of my parents going through the divorce I wouldn’t want the people in the church to know all of the bad things I’ve done. I would want to tell them everything that my spouse has done to me in order to get the response and sympathy I am looking for. With God, we cannot hide the things we have done. He knows every flaw and every imperfection.

Third, we turn to the church first instead of God because we want something from the church and we want it immediately. If we are struggling financially or we need something physical that maybe the church can provide we ask them before we ask God. On this one, I am not saying that taking help from the church is a bad thing. The church has helped many people through some tough times. However, it is where our hearts lie on this one that truly matters. God is the one who provides all things for us and when we ask Him He will provide. If you are tight on money and don’t know how you will be able to provide food for your family, ask God to help you and then go to your church. They may have a food bank you can get food from. When you don’t have a job and you’ve been searching for months but haven’t had any offers, ask God and then see if there is someone in the church who knows of a job available that would fit. My point is, when you need something in your life (physical need or not) turn to God and ask Him what to do. Rely on God before you rely on the church. Relying on God to provide those physical needs is another way to build your relationship with Him. Psalm 91:2 says, “I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’” NIV

Like I’ve said many times now, it is not a bad thing to be a part of a church or ask a church for help but when we turn to the church before we turn to God, we are being hindered in our spiritual life. Remember that “Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him.” Jeremiah 17:7-8

 

 

Isaiah 40:31 “but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” NIV

Life Happens So Trust God

For those who read my articles, you were probably wondering where the heck I have been for two weeks. Has it truly been that long? Well yes, it has been that long and let me tell you, life happened. All last week I was sent to Compliance School by work in order to receive my CUCE (Credit Union Compliance Expert) certification. I drove downtown Denver every day and spent all my time (7am-7pm) studying, learning from instructors and taking exams.

At the moment, I am still not CUCE certified. During the middle of the week, I came down with strep throat. Yay!…. I sat in class that day, feverish, shaking from being sick and my throat was killing me. I tried taking the exam that night three times and every time I attempted the exam, I failed. I went home defeated and frustrated. I was unsure about what life had in store for me.

I look back on that day now and the frustration I had and I shake my head. those thoughts of frustration and fear of the future along with the uncertainty of life has not been new for me lately. I have wondered where God is taking us for some time now. We are living out of my grandparents’ basement and feel a bit stuck. there are days I come home and wonder what on earth God is doing with our lives. When is He going to show us what He wants or where He wants us to be?

I should be turning my eyes to God and letting Him handle the big plans. So why is it so hard for me to do that? I want to be in control of my life and call the shots. I want to prove that I have life all together like I see in the lives of others. I want to stand up and say, yes, I have control of life and have my head on my shoulders.

The truth is, God is the only one who has complete control of our lives. He is the one who can move mountains, part the seas and change our future. At the end of the day, we need to relinquish our desire to control our lives and let God take the reins.

In Jeremiah 29:11, it says “‘For I know the plans I have for you’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future'”. I want us to think about this for a second. If God has a plan for our future wouldn’t His plan be greater than ours? I can set a plan for my life and an idea of what it could look like but if God, the Creator of life, has a better plan for our lives, wouldn’t we want His plan and not ours? 

I know it is easier to say we want God’s plan for our lives than it is to wait on His plan. We are a society who likes things now. So during that time of waiting, a time that I am currently in, I want to challenge you to do three things with me.

  1. Stay in God’s word: It is important for us to read His word. Not only do we learn from Him by reading what He has to say, but we can hear direction from the Lord as well. God can use bible verses to speak truth to us and it is a huge way for us to have hope during a time of confusion and loss of direction. I want to challenge us all to a 30 day study. It is a challenge called “God Is On The Move”. Isn’t it true? God is working in our lives and He is building a beautiful future for us. God Is on The Move
  2. Pray about everything: If you are feeling down, confused, unsure about life or just don’t know where to go, call on God. Pray and ask Him to help guide you. He hears all of our prayers and will not abandon us.
  3. Go out and serve: I’ve found that, in my darkest times, serving has been a source of healing. Not only does it help heal but it can distract you from worrying about what the future holds. While God is working in your life, go out and serve someone. By no time, God’s plan will be moving full speed ahead and you will feel like time flew by.

Throughout your journey, right now, know that God has not left your side and never will. Be strong in the Lord and know that everyone is fighting their own battles within their journey. You are not alone in your journey. If you need prayer for anything, don’t forget to send me a message. I am here to pray for you all.

Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding”

 

 

About Me

Hey everyone!

First off, I want to thank you for coming to my blog. My name is April Audett and I am the owner and writer for Hope Anchored. I am a mom of one beautiful little girl, Brianna, and I am married to a true man of God who challenges me and makes me a stronger person.

I come from a background that sort of looks like Job’s life. If you don’t know who Job is, he is a man from the Bible who faced many challenges and some hard times; yet, he never faltered in his faith and hope. The challenges I have faced, and are still facing in life, have grown me into the strong woman I am today. Throughout my blog, I will be writing about those challenges.

I want this place to be a place of encouragement and a place to learn. As a mom, a wife and a disciple of Christ, my challenges and life lessons should serve as an encouragement in your life. It should stand to show you that, no matter what you face in life, you can make it to the end as a stronger, more resilient individual.

I encourage you to comment on the blog posts every week and tell me what your thoughts are. If you have prayer requests, you can post them on each post or email me. We are in this life together.

So, why “Hope Anchored”? Well, I was listening to a sermon by Pastor Steven Furtick, pastor of Elevations Church, that talked about how hope is our anchor for our faith. Most people say that their “hope floats through the rough times” but, in fact, as we go through the trials of life, hope is the one thing that keeps our faith solid. We hope for a better future and a way out of the dark times and that hope gives us the sturdy anchor for our faith.

I don’t want you to think that I am perfect. I am far from. However, through my mistakes and my trials I grow. This blog will serve as my testimony to my faith that is anchored in hope.

I can’t wait to go on this journey with you all.

 

Love, always,

April