How to Deal With the Hard Stuff (Spotlight on Faith Series 5)

How to Deal With the Hard Stuff (Spotlight on Faith Series 5)

“Sometimes we don’t know how brave we are. Brave often moves forward with knee knocks & heart thumps. Brave is about decisions. Let’s tackle hard stuff one step at a time. Then feelings will anchor with our wise choices & we’ll be amazed at what we accomplished.”—Patsy Clairmont

The Hard Stuff

I recently read about a missionary pastor who served in Columbia with his family. They were chased out by the local guerilla group, but despite much fear and trepidation, they decided to go back in, this time deeper into the red zone to continue their ministry.

Everyone would have understood if they had decided to minister in a safer area of the country or leave altogether. In fact, his parents had begged him not to go in the first place.

But he felt God’s leading, so he packed up his family and went again. Fear pursued him, but faith drove him on.

I’m no missionary pastor, but I do have an assignment from God (as you do), and sometimes it scares me. I desire to run away, pull the covers back over my head, and let someone else deal with the hard stuff.

Life can be scary, and fear can get the best of me at times. Yet being brave isn’t the absence of fear; it’s moving forward, trusting God despite the fear. Fear may pursue us, but faith drives us forward, one step at a time.

Being brave isn't the absence of fear; it's moving forward, trusting God despite the fear. Fear may pursue us, but faith drives us forward, one step at a time. #spotlightonfaith Click To Tweet

spotlight on faith - deal with hardship - be brave

Gideon (Judges 6-7)

Gideon was a brave man. Not brave as in fearless but brave as in engaging the hard stuff despite his fear by trusting in God’s promises. 

Much to Gideon’s consternation, the Lord appointed him a warrior tasked with rescuing the Israelites from the Midianites. Gideon tried to convince God he was not the one for such a role: he came from the weakest family and was too young. But the Lord simply assured him, “I will be with you” (Judges 6:16a).

Throughout the next couple of chapters of Judges, Gideon sought additional reassurance from the Lord. Three times he asked for miraculous signs, and God complied. Later when the situation became increasingly difficult, impossible in Gideon’s eyes, and fear was again getting the best of him, the Lord bolstered his faith in an “only God” way (Judges 7:9-14).

Gideon’s fear stemmed from his feeling of inadequacy. God’s assurance that He would be present with him and help him secure victory gave Gideon the confidence to fight through his fear and engage in the battle. When Gideon looked at the absurdity of the task at hand, he froze, but when he kept his eyes fixed on the Lord, he moved forward in faith.

Gideon took each tough step by remembering and believing God’s promises and trusting Him to be faithful. That earned the warrior a spot in the Heroes of Faith (Hebrews 11). 

Be Brave

We too can tackle tough situations with confidence when the Lord’s calling us to them. We have God’s assurance that He will be present with us in and through our hard stuff.

Life isn’t for the faint of heart. We all deal with difficult things, but as he did with Gideon, God assures us that we don’t have to tackle the hard stuff alone. He’s with us, strengthening us, guiding us for the battle.

Even more breathtaking, God’s already won the victory for us. We simply have to persevere, trusting Him and taking the next step. When we look at the battles of life in that light, we can face our fears and be brave too, taking each next step forward in faith.

Life throws hard stuff our way, but when we look at the battles of life believing and trusting that God has already won the victory, we can face our fears and be brave too, taking that next step forward in faith. #forwardinfaith Click To Tweet

“[Jesus] said, ‘Come.’ And climbing out of the boat, Peter started walking on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the strength of the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’ Immediately Jesus reached out his hand, caught hold of him, and said to him, ‘You of little faith, why did you doubt?’” Matthew 14:29-31
deal with hard stuff prayer


Dear Lord, we face some hard stuff in this life, some scary and overwhelming things. But we don’t face them alone, do we? You’ve promised to be with us through it all. You’ve promised to guide us and strengthen us for the journey. We may not always understand Your tactics, but we can trust in Your sovereignty and faithfulness to see us through. And when the outlook appears helpless, we can hold onto the victory You’ve already secured for us on the cross. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Reflections: In what situation(s) are you being asked to be brave? How will you take the next step forward?

I’ve taken the biblical character spotlights in this Spotlight on Faith series from a Christian living book my agent is shopping to publishers. I’d love to get your feedback about the excerpts! Click here to read all entries in the series. 

By His grace ≈


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Find hope in your real-life struggles. We'll chase it together! I am a wife; mom of 4 (including a young adult daughter with special needs); miscarriage mom of 5; author & follower of Jesus Christ. I write, edit, speak and enjoy everything outdoors.

One comment on “How to Deal With the Hard Stuff (Spotlight on Faith Series 5)
  1. Julie: I have had health issues since right before COVID became a household word (March, 2020). Last February, I had to face the third health issue, breast cancer. Now, almost a year later, I am dealing with a side -effect of breast cancer, lymphedema. A friend asked me just last night, what I had learned from all three of these times of being down. I have learned to be patient. I have learned to rely on the LORD more. This week, I have begun physical therapy for the lyphedma. I had a lumpectomy in April,and radiation for one week, two times a day. God is very real to me because of all I have been through.

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