“Nothing is difficult if you seek it through your Lord, and nothing is easy if you seek it through yourself.” – Yasmin Mogahed
“God knows best” is a line we often hear when we are confused, when we are struggling with adversities, and when the bigger picture seems too complex for us to comprehend. As humans, we are naturally wired to be impatient, and sometimes irrational. However, when adversities arise or when we crave a feeling of comfort in our lives, the only rational thing to do is to trust in God’s predestined plan as he knows what is best for us in the short and long-term stages of our lives.
It can be quite difficult to trust someone whom you are unable to see and listen to, especially since in times of hardship, our minds tend to become more anxious and doubtful. It is in those moments that we must remind ourselves of our true purpose on earth and how God never lets us down. Sometimes we dislike a thing, but it is good for us, and other times, we like a thing, but it is bad for us, which is why it is crucial to remember that God knows more than we will ever know and that trusting Him is the most optimal thing we can do. It is all a matter of training our minds to see the light in even the darkest of circumstances and having trust in God’s greater plan.
Trust In God
To trust something means to believe that it is honest, fair, dependable, strong, trustworthy, loyal, and reliable. In order to wholeheartedly trust God, we must first surrender our need to control and know everything in our lives. When we surrender, we are submitting to God's omnipotence. When we relinquish control, we relinquish everything by surrendering from our soul and then from our heart, mind, and actions.
Sometimes the difficulties we face are meant to cleanse us, strengthen our faith, and draw us nearer to God. Even during times of hardship, God is always with us as nothing occurs without His knowledge. In times of difficulty, we may believe that we are being punished for our shortcomings, however, these tribulations are simply tests from God to remove our past mistakes, purify our hearts, grow our patience, and make us better humans overall. This is also a way to make us grow closer to God as we are able to find peace when confiding in Him and trusting His greater plan.
Open Up To God
There is no one and nothing closer to us than the one who created us and continues to give us life. Regardless of whether we are experiencing happiness or grief, we should talk to God every day. He is the only one who truly understands our feelings, thoughts, behaviors, and reactions. He knows us better than we know ourselves, which is why it is extremely important for us to talk to him throughout our day.
When our family, friends, and companions are not around to listen and talk to us, the only one who is always there is God. Yasmin Mogahed stated that “when you have friends, don’t expect your friends to fill your emptiness. When you get married, don’t expect your spouse to fulfill your every need. When you’re an activist, don’t put your hope in the results. When you’re in trouble don’t depend on yourself. Don’t depend on people. Depend on God.” This is because God is constantly around to listen, help, and care for us – more understanding and nurturing than any human could ever be.
We are never truly alone as God is always with us. Start speaking to Him more often, especially when you feel the need to talk and find comfort in others. There is only so much a human can do, however, God is The All-Hearing, The All-Strong, and The Provider. So, ask yourself, why do you feel the need to rely on a human, when God is the greatest of all? He is The Never Changing, The Always Constant and to Him, we belong, thus, remember to reach out to Him before anyone else and He will never abandon nor let you down.
Put God First & You Will Never Be Last
Putting God first may mean that you will have to say “no” to some things, whilst saying “yes” to God more often. It is a path that requires sacrifice, patience, and endless commitment. Following God entails letting go of your desires and goals whilst realigning your priorities and objectives. Sometimes this may involve letting go of friendships, opportunities, money, time, relationships, and wants. At first, it may seem as though you are ending some of your older dreams, however, by putting God first, you are allowing Him to bring better ones to life. We must prioritize God in our lives and consistently choose to place all our confidence in Him. We cannot simply follow Him in the areas we find pleasing while disobeying His instructions in the areas that cause us discomfort. Only when we choose to put God first, that we will succeed in this life.
Ask God To Help You
Sometimes we experience moments where we are unable to communicate our feelings and thoughts to anyone including our Lord. When you are stressed, remember that God is the One who can make things easier for you. He is full of wisdom as well as mercy and when we call upon Him, He promises to always respond to us. The great thing about asking God for help is that we can do it anywhere, anytime, and in any circumstance. However, the best time to ask for assistance from God and to speak to Him from the heart is when you are alone, and in a peaceful state.
The first thing you can do is to set an intention that you are seeking help from God alone and that He is the only one with the power to help you. You may then proceed to praise God for all that He does for you. For instance, you may thank God for your health, home, family, job, money, relationships, and abilities. After this, make sure that you are sincere and focused on your approach whilst talking to God. The best way to do this is by speaking from your heart. You may begin to feel overwhelmed and may even begin to cry and that is perfectly okay since God does not judge and is always open to listen to us and alleviate our struggles.
It is highly important to have confidence in God as He is what we think of Him, meaning that if we view Him as merciful, and giving then he is exactly that towards us. Guilt and perhaps shame may hinder us from opening up and becoming closer to God, however, you should not let your past mistakes and shortcomings determine your present and future. Our Lord is The Most Forgiving and is always waiting for us to reach out to Him. Open your heart up to your Lord and be so vulnerable with Him as He is the most understanding and nurturing of all.
“Reflection" can refer to a wide range of activities, many of which entail awareness, introspection, contemplation, or even clearing the mind of ideas through meditation techniques. Some of these activities include breathing techniques, goal setting, mindfulness exercises, pondering on a particular idea, various forms of meditation, journaling, and cultivating gratitude.
Many individuals may refute the idea of journaling as it may seem too tedious, useless, overwhelming, and uncomfortable for them to do. However, the reality of journaling is far greater than many may even realize. Putting in the effort required for introspection will significantly raise your quality of life. Among the advantages include the ability to learn from mistakes made in the past and adjust to avoid them, a higher likelihood of achieving goals, a better outlook, more contentment, and even new creative ideas.
Research conducted by Baike & Wilhelm (2005) has proven that journaling allows us to experience the following benefits:
- Reduction in blood pressure
- Improved liver and lung health
- Happier emotions
- Better psychological health
- Less depression and avoidance behavior
- Decreased stress and absences from work
- Less time off work after losing a job
- Higher average grades for students
- Lowering anxiety
- Getting out of a never-ending loop of worry and sadness
- Increasing awareness
- Controlling feelings better
- Promoting consciousness
- Enhancing physical well-being
When experiencing difficult times in our lives, journaling can be a helpful mechanism that allows us to process our thoughts and feelings more critically and trust God’s greater plan. Writing in a journal can help you cope with difficult situations and lessen their effects, by preventing burnout and long-term anxiety. According to studies, putting thoughts and feelings on paper about difficult situations might help people feel less stressed. Writing down our feelings in a notebook can help us manage our anxiety, confusion, and depression. In turn, this promotes emotional recovery and increases stress resistance.
You may begin journaling by writing down a few of your thoughts, feelings, and opinions about whatever is on your mind. Doing so will help clear out any confusion and fears trapped inside of you. Creating a pros and cons list is also a great way to critically analyze your situation and finally find some solace. Admitting that you have put your full trust in God and His plan in your journal is a fantastic and beautiful way to reaffirm your love and appreciation for Him.
Wander In Nature
When journaling or simply pondering about certain circumstances, decisions, and hardships I am experiencing, I tend to be drawn to the outdoors. Being in nature when I contemplate almost anything, brings about a powerful and peaceful sense of comfort and clarity to my mind and heart. It is when I am in nature that I can easily connect to God and speak to Him freely about whatever is on my mind. Taking the initiative to walk to a park or travel to the beach is a soothing and serene way to connect to our Lord and speak to him about our circumstances.
Not only does being in nature help clear our minds and alleviate our worries, but it also promotes better breathing, improves our sleep, reduces our depression, motivates us, relaxes our anxieties, boosts our immune system, and improves our emotional well-being. Being in nature instantly connects us to God as we are surrounded by his natural creations and can give gratitude to the mesmerizing landscapes, floras as well as faunas around us. This makes it so much easier for us to contemplate God and be able to trust in Him better and show gratitude towards Him.
Make Better Choices
Trusting God’s plan is the most important and valuable feeling and belief to have, however, we must also take the necessary steps in our lives to make better choices, and improved actions. Remember to always put God first, so that you will never be last. When making decisions for the short and long-term aspects of your life, do not rush into anything without first speaking to God, critically analyzing, and seeking out advice. You could ask yourself whether this action or decision would make God pleased with you, if this choice will harm you or anyone in any way, and if it will benefit your body, mind, and soul. If the decision you are about to make will please God, then go through with it and always have the intention and belief that God is with you and will never let you down as He only wants what is best for you in this life and the next.