How to Survive Life When It Gets Miserable

Sometimes our lives fall apart or at least they seem to be falling apart and at these times we realize how little control we have in fact over our circumstances. One day life can look great and we can feel in control and on top of the world and the next day we are miserably aware that we have no control at all. Seasons of perplexity and trials are part of the Christian life and used by God to help us grow spiritually. The key is often in our ability to discern meaning and purpose in painful life events. God often permits suffering because it is a great tool for spiritual transformation. My favorite biblical example of this is Joseph who experienced 13 years of misery that began with his own brothers wanting to kill him over their jealousy and ended in slavery and prison. All the great and faithful characters in scripture have endured great suffering; most noteworthy is Christ himself. But as we read and study their lives and experiences it is plain to see that God always kept His promise in Romans 8:28 of all things working out for good in our life.

We are admonished by both Paul and Peter not to be surprised when trials come into our lives but rather understand and accept that hardships are part of the Christian life. Here are some reasons for this suffering:

1. Satan has brought evil into this world which results in random suffering
2. We suffer as a result of our own wrong or bad choices
3. We suffer as a result of someone else’s bad or wrong choices
4. God uses suffering as a form of discipline to enable us to mature spiritually


Christ’s mission in life could only be accomplished through suffering and sometimes that is true for us as well. We all have only two choices to make when we are experiencing adversity. We can turn towards God and seek his strength and ask for His healing and help. Or ,we can turn away from God which results in anger, resentment and bitterness. For some, hardship ends up being a blessing for both themselves and others; but we can also become stuck in a mental and emotional crucible and never fully recover. Tribulation should make us acutely aware of our dependence on God.

The only way to experience great heartbreak and not become bitter or mentally and emotionally damaged is to have faith in the sovereignty of God. When we have this confidence that God is in control of all of our circumstances it enables us to endure our trials with patience and hope, rather than resentment. We can forgive others and ourselves and let go of the past and emerge stronger in the present.


There are many verses in Psalm’s that tell us God knows how to rescue us from our trials but admonishes us to “wait patiently on the Lord”. Waiting patiently to be rescued isn’t easy but has many spiritual benefits.

1. It keeps us focused on God
2. It gives God an opportunity to heal our wounds over time
3. It helps us clarify our real desires
4. It strengthens both our relationship with God and our faith


The challenge of affliction is to believe that God is leading even when you don’t understand the direction His leading is taking. Accept the circumstances of your life, have faith that God is in control and surrender your dreams and desires trusting in His timing and purposes. Allow God to guide you through life’s trials and tribulations.

Written by: Linda Riley, A Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and Certified Sex Counselor who has counseled family's and couples for over 22 years. Her focus has been with enriching relationships and understanding relationship dynamics. Promoting personl growth and building healthy self-concepts to help her clients achieve maximum results in their personl and professional lives.

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