Hope When Life is Hard

this I call to mind, and therefore I have HOPE. (1920 × 1080 px)

This is my first post since returning home from the hospital last October after my battle with COVID. It was definitely something I did not see coming and it has profoundly changed my life in so many ways. I am still recovering but I am no longer needing in-home nursing care and my physical therapy is now taking place at a local facility three days a week. I am back to work and some normalcy, but still battling some long-haul Covid side effects which are primarily affecting my movements and breathing. I am off oxygen and instead use breath recovery techniques when my stats drop into the 80s (they want me to stay above 93). It is our prayer that physical therapy will allow me to move and breathe normally. I am ready!

Through this entire process, I have seen the goodness of God in so many amazing ways! He was always by my side and I felt His peace, comfort, strength, power, love, mercy, and grace. I felt the prayers of so many—people I know and those whom I have never met. The outpouring of the body of Christ was powerful and I was blessed, encouraged, and strengthened by this.

I have also resumed teaching women’s Bible study, which is such a blessing and joy to me each week! In the study that I lead on Tuesday mornings, we have been working our way through the key doctrines of the Bible. This week we were discussing the doctrine of mankind—how were we created, what is our purpose, etc. Our beliefs regarding this doctrine greatly impact our daily lives. Our true identity is grounded in who God says that we are, regardless of what we think, experience, or feel. BUT, we have to deal with those feelings and emotions, don’t we? It is unhealthy to ignore them or sweep them under the rug.

In the Bible, God tells us that because of His great love and mercy as our perfect Creator King we find our identity in Christ Jesus.

According to Ephesians 1:3-14, in Christ we are…

  • loved
  • accepted
  • adopted
  • redeemed
  • forgiven
  • secure
  • enough

So what are we to do when our experience and feelings contradict who God says we are? We run to Him. We cry out to Him in prayer. We get into His Word. We lean on Jesus. A few years ago I compiled a list of how the Lord has led me in reconciling my feelings and emotions with who He says that I am. It’s practical because that’s what I needed on a daily and often hourly basis—some practical steps to reclaim my identity in Christ and realign my thoughts and feelings with who God says that I am. It has worked powerfully in my life. I use this list to either journal my thoughts or talk them out—aloud. I hope you find it helpful.

FOUR PRACTICAL STEPS we can take to reclaim our identity and realign our thinking:

#1 REMEMBER & REHEARSE who God is and who you are in Christ

Where are you finding your identity? What controls you? Who do you trust?

Power of Surrender: 

  • This my situation __________________________________. 
  • I surrender ____________________________ to the sovereignty and goodness of God.
  • I choose to look to Jesus and the cross!

#2 RENEW your mind 

What are you feeling and thinking? What does God’s Word have to say? 

Ask: How might my first (or repeated) response in this situation reveal an area of my heart and life where I am not fully trusting/believing God?

Ponder his Word:

  • This my situation _____________.
  • This is how I “feel” ____________.
  • This is what I know to be true about God _______________. 
  • This is what God’s Word says _______________.
  • I choose to take God as His Word.

Dealing with those Feelings

“If you dwell on your own feelings about things rather than dwelling on the faithfulness, the love, and the mercy of God, then you’re likely to have a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Our feelings are very fleeting and ephemeral, aren’t they? We can’t depend on them for five minutes at a time. But dwelling on the love, faithfulness, and mercy of God is always safe.” —Elisabeth Eliot

“Faith does not eliminate questions. But faith knows where to take them.” —Elisabeth Elliot, A Chance to Die: The Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael

#3 RESPOND with praise

What are you beholding? Who/What are you worshiping?

Pour Out in Prayer & Practice Praise:

  • This my situation _____________.
  • This is how I “feel” ____________.
  • This is what I know to be true about God _______________.
  • This is what God’s Word says _______________.
  • I choose to take God as His Word. By faith I will trust in the character and promises of God, knowing He is ____________
  • I praise Him because He is _________________.

#4 REPEAT as necessary

Put into Practice Daily:

Read James 1:22-24.

The word practice in the original language of the Scripture means to make or do; expressing action as either completed or continued; things produced by an inward act of the mind or will; expresses a continual or continuing action that one does repeatedly or habitually.

Whenever your faith feels fragile, remember: In Christ, I am ____________________!

Click here for a link to a PDF copy of the 4 Steps you can download for personal use.

May the Lord bless your time with Him in His Word and in prayer this week.

Rejoicing in Christ Jesus,



©2022 Susan Cady, susancady.com

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