“How are things going?” I asked a friend who was walking through a very dark hallway.
“I’m surviving because I’m preaching truth to myself during this valley,” she replied.
Her response both encouraged and challenged me. I was thrilled to hear that she was taking measures to find her hope in the Lord, but I was also convicted about the way I handle my own struggles. When I’m hurting, how often do I forget to remind myself of the truths in God’s Word? Do I even know how to preach truth to myself?
Maybe you’ve wondered the same things. You know you should be dwelling on God’s faithfulness and preaching truth to yourself, but how do you go about doing it?
As I’ve thought about and studied this concept more, I’ve learned a few key tips for preaching truth to yourself during a hallway.
Read and study God’s Word
First and foremost, we need to be reading and studying God’s Word. If we don’t know what Scripture says, how can we preach truth to ourselves? If you’ve not made Bible study a part of your daily routine yet, now is the perfect opportunity to start!
Aim to find (at least) a few uninterrupted minutes each day where you can read your Bible (or if you’re really pressed for time, use an app like Bible Gateway to have Scripture read aloud to you while you scrub dishes).
If you don’t know where to start and have limited reading time, why not begin with the Gospels and move on from there? For new believers, I highly recommend the book of Mark - it’s short and easier to digest than the other three Gospels. If you’ve been saved for a long time or have grown up in church, the Gospel of John is an incredible read.
Record instances of God’s faithfulness in Scripture
The Bible is chalk full of examples of God’s faithfulness, even when everyone else was faithless. While you’re reading and studying, keep a notebook and a pen nearby and jot down every instances of God’s faithfulness that you come across. Your list should soon be quite lengthy! Be sure to read through your list frequently to remind yourself just how faithful God has been.
If you’re still struggling to find examples in Scripture, try doing a Google search. You’re bound to start discovering examples of God’s incredible faithfulness to His people even when they were not faithful in return.
Memorize verses that pertain to your specific situation
No matter what your hallway is, you’re bound to find Bible verses that are geared to your specific situation. Grab a few 3x5 cards and write out those verses that you find most meaningful and encouraging. Begin memorizing these small portions of Scripture.
Need some help getting started? Here are a few that have encouraged me over the years:
2 Corinthians 1:3-4
Once you have a few verse cards made, put them where they’ll be the most helpful. Are you away from home a lot? Try keeping them in your purse or car. Are you a homebody like I am? Why not affix them to your bathroom mirrors, your refrigerator, and anywhere else in your home where you’ll be able to read them frequently?
Write down times God has proven Himself faithful in your own life
Not only do we find hundreds of examples of God’s faithfulness throughout Scripture, there are times you’ve seen His faithfulness at work in your own life, too. Make a list of these occasions as well. If you find that you’re struggling to remember the times that He’s been there for you, you can try the following options.
First, pray and ask Him to jog your memory. You might not be able to recall His faithfulness in your own life right away, but He certainly hasn’t forgotten!
Secondly, begin writing down general acts of His faithfulness, such as His provision of the food you eat, the housing you live in, or the start of a new day. While there may be aspects of these you’d prefer to change (maybe you don’t appreciate your current housing situation or you’re tired of having beans and rice yet again), the point is that He has faithfully provided for you.
Chances are good that once you begin writing down a few general acts of faithfulness, you’ll remember things more specific, like the time He miraculously provided your rent the day it was due or healed your little one from illness.
Choose to dwell on what is true
We all have a choice to make. We can choose to dwell on what is true (like the fact that God is faithful even when we can’t see Him working), or we can believe in falsehood (like feeling as though God has forgotten about us).
The choice is ours, but as believers, we need to decide to focus on what is good. If we’re going to preach truth to ourselves, we need to choose to dwell on what is true no matter how our feelings and emotions are leading us.
Commit to trusting Him no matter what
I’ve always found it odd the way some unbelievers never think to give God glory for a new house or a raise in salary and yet are so quick to blame him when they get laid off or get a scary diagnosis. But let’s be honest: sometimes we as Christians do the same thing! We forget to thank Him for the blessings in life but are quick to question His faithfulness when we enter a hallway.
One way we can preach truth to ourselves in the midst of hardship is to commit to trusting God no matter what. We know from Scripture and from His work in our own lives that He is faithful. We have our lists and our verse cards to help us remember His continued faithfulness. When we’re tempted to stop trusting, we must decide to trust His promises rather than in our wayward feelings.
Preaching truth to yourself during a hallway won’t be easy. Circumstances, emotions, and the devil’s tempting all will try to convince you to give in to self pity, to get angry at God, and to believe in the falsehood that God is unfaithful in times of distress.
But with the Holy Spirit’s help, you can and need to speak truth to yourself when you are struggling. By reading and studying Scripture, recording examples of God’s faithfulness found in His Word and seen in your own life, memorizing Bible verses, choosing to dwell on truth, and committing to trust God no matter what, you will be preaching truth to yourself during a hallway!