3 Things I Learned During the Hardest Times of My Life

I don’t believe you learn life’s greatest lessons in the darkest valleys.

I know, I know. Call me crazy. I believe this verse:

All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.
(2 Timothy 3:16)

God doesn’t teach by destruction; He teaches by instruction through His Word.

That said, however, life can teach you stuff. While you don’t have to go to the school of hard knocks—head instead to the school of divine instruction!—you can learn the hard way if you have to.

Today, I do want to share a few things I learned walking through the hardest times of my life—with the Word of God.

1. God prepares a feast for you in the presence of your enemies

You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies.
(Psalm 23:5)

I was convinced last year was the absolute worst year of my life.

However, looking back, I can see God’s overwhelming goodness despite all the negative that was happening.

Because what you focus on grows, and I took extra care to focus on all the positive things going on.

I truly felt like God has set before me a table in the midst of my enemies. For instance, my body was racked with pain and fatigue, but there were so many other blessings and I made tons of great memories even despite it!

I know a lot of people like to focus on the negative and completely miss all the other blessings God has given them.

If you have lost anything, God is the reason you have not lost everything.
– Bishop David O. Oyedepo

I thank God that He saw my destiny and saw fit to place me in America in 2019 so I can still live a great life and make myself as comfortable as possible until the miracle manifests!

GOD IS GOOD. So much of this world doesn’t believe this because they forget the fact there is an enemy! (1 Peter 5:8, John 10:10—good God, bad devil.)

However, as someone who’s officially been declared arthritis-free on my 16th birthday to the shock of the doctors, I would like to proceed to shout His goodness from the rooftops for the rest of my dying days. ?

2. The joy of the Lord is 100% accessible in every situation.

“The Teacher is always silent during the test” is nowhere in the Bible!

The Teacher is the Holy Spirit and Jesus promised the Holy Spirit would never leave us and will teach us all things. (John 14:26)

You feel like God’s left you alone? His presence and existence doesn’t depend on your feelings, buddy.

If it did, yeah, we’d all be done for. Because feelings are fickle and the less you depend on them, the better off you’ll be.

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
(Psalm 46:1)

The footnote on that verse in the NKJV actually says “an abundantly available help”!

I will never leave you nor forsake you.
– God, Hebrews 13:5

I am with you always, even to the end of the age.
– Jesus, Matthew 28:20

Just because you’re going through a trial doesn’t mean Jesus was removed from your heart or the Holy Spirit left you. ?

In other words, God is not silent. He hasn’t left you, if you’ve kicked the devil out and invited Jesus in as your Lord and Savior.

And because He is with you, talk to Him anytime.

For instance, Psalm 23 says He’s WITH us in the valley. (Psalm 23:4) He didn’t put you in the valley, but He’s with you—not to just give you a fist bump and say “You’ve got this, buddy!” but to bring you OUT of it. (1 Samuel 2:8, Psalm 40:2)

Because His joy is accessible 100% of the time, in every situation.

In the hardest times of my life, I just started praying in tongues and thanking God for everything He’s already done. As a result, I was filled and overcome with joy.

(I talked about this in one of my very first posts: How to Kick the Devil’s Butt in Your Everyday Life – #1.)

The devil doesn’t want you to have joy. He loves to bash people over the head with depression.

For instance, did you know one in six Americans takes antidepressants? At one point, antidepressants were the only thing doctors could offer me.

However, the joy of the Lord supersedes anything the world can offer. And it doesn’t depend on your circumstances.

Because God is NOT far away. He’s NOT silent. He’s THERE.

For example, God has been very talkative, to me and my parents, as we walk through this! Just learn to hear His voice. (Hint: The #1 way God speaks to us is through His Word. :o))

3. He didn’t send this.

Give me all the crap you want about God putting sickness on people. I just don’t care.

Because God is a healer and only a healer. (Exodus 15:26, Matthew 8:17) You could never convince me otherwise. It’s too late. There’s been too many miracles!

For example, when I was seven years old, God told me the date all my arthritis symptoms would disappear. I did not argue with Him. Instead, I agreed. The next day—the date He told me: May 22, 2011—all my arthritis symptoms disappeared.

In 2015, when my arthritis flared up badly, God gave me multiple dreams about my healing manifesting and all my symptoms leaving. April 2017, they left.

August 2018, when I really pursued healing again after another recent flare, God gave me another dream about my healing.

June 27, 2019, my rheumatologist searched, and searched, and searched—and she could find no trace of arthritis.

Every time symptoms tried to come back to my body, I responded in faith—and EVERY time the symptoms left!

I am still standing for my total and complete healing. That last time symptoms returned to my body is the last they ever return to my body! Where medicine has failed, Jesus has never failed.

Because He paid for my healing, I’m going to receive everything He died to make available to me. (Isaiah 53:4-5Matthew 8:17, 1 Peter 2:24)

God doesn’t do two different things. He has always been a healer to His children.

For instance, Jesus, Who could only do what the Father did (John 5:19), spent 1/3 of His time doing miracles and healing people.

And since Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8)…

Jesus is still in the miracle-working business, buddy!

Even as I work through some of the worst health stuff I’ve faced, it’s only become clearer and clearer that this sickness was not sent from God.

For instance, too many people face a battle in their health and either shape a wrong doctrine out of it or fall away from the faith altogether. People put twisted ideas in their head that God gave them their sickness.

For example, the sister of a famous atheist today died when he was young. When told that God killed his sister, he said, “If there is a God, I hate Him.”

Today, He is totally against God and His Word.

But not me.

Because if there’s anything I’ve learned walking through these things, it’s that God is a healer and He is helping me each and every single day. My health stuff going on right now is the devil and it doesn’t take a genius to see that.

And if you are facing something in your life today, I want to encourage you that if it’s a sickness or tragedy, God did not send it.

Shut out the crap and find out what HIS WORD says, not someone’s opinion based on their life failure. :o)

I’m convinced if you disregard any opinion contrary to God’s Word, you’ll have a pretty darn great life. ?


In conclusion, three things I learned during the hardest times of my life are:

1. God prepares a feast for you in the presence of your enemies. (Psalm 23:5) Convinced all you see is bad? Focus on His blessings. For example, you’ve most likely got it so much better than someone else. What you focus on grows; focus on the positive wherever possible. “Whatsoever things are of good report, meditate on these things.” (Philippians 4:8)

2. The joy of the Lord is 100% accessible in every situation. God has not left you and He is not silent! (Hebrews 13:5) Dive deep into His Word and get closer to Him through whatever you are facing. The joy of the Lord is your strength—if you can receive His joy, you’re going to make it through. (Nehemiah 8:10) That’s a fact! Actually, that’s the truth.

3. God didn’t send this. And don’t confuse what God allows with what His will is. Basically, He will “allow” you to get sick, but God’s will is that He wants you healed. (Isaiah 53:4-5Matthew 8:17, 1 Peter 2:24)

God is so, so good. I can see His goodness in everything and as He helps me soar right through the hard times.

How has God brought you through the hardest times in your life?

Leaving the hard times to the archives,

By |2019-07-15T11:39:37-04:00July 15th, 2019|Encouragement, Life Undefeated, Miracles|39 Comments

About the Author:

I'm Madi: blogger, writer, doll collector, and minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Learn more about me here and this blog here.


  1. Clara July 15, 2019 at 12:10 pm - Reply

    FIRST COMMENT! I think! 😀
    My favorite part of this post was this: “However, the joy of the Lord supersedes anything the world can offer. And it doesn’t depend on your circumstances.” That reminded me of one of my FAVORITE verses, Romans 15:13 – “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” You can have hope no matter what’s going on in your life. 😀 *melts because of the amazingness of that* XD
    Awesome post!!

    -Clara <3

    • Madi July 15, 2019 at 12:15 pm - Reply

      YAY A CLARA COMMENT! Yes first comment, amazing job :’)

      AWW, I love that verse! It’s the theme verse for Hang on to Hope :’) ? Thanks so much for reading! That was impressively fast. 😀 XD

  2. McKayla July 15, 2019 at 12:12 pm - Reply

    Yes, so true. I love the verse about how God prepares a feast for you in front of your enemies. It’s so true. Amazing post, as always. Quick question: do you have any good Christian movie recommendations? I’ve already seen The Lost Medallion and I love it but unfortunately lots of the Christian movies I’ve seen tend to be a little too cheesy.
    Life updates: I saw Captain Marvel a few days ago (and loved it despite the ocassional swear words), I might get to learn karate soon and if I earn enough money I might get a Build a Bear. What’s bern going on with your life lately?

    • Madi July 15, 2019 at 12:20 pm - Reply

      Thanks for reading and commenting, McKayla! I seriously love hearing from you.

      And man, I totally get that… it’s why I believe it’s so important for Christians to put out the best, top-notch entertainment for Jesus… here are a few Christian movies I really enjoyed (and I loved The Lost Medallion too!):

      • War Room
      • Do You Believe?
      • Paul, Apostle of Christ (I reviewed it on my blog; I can link you if you want)
      • I Can Only Imagine

      Have you heard of The Chosen? It’s an extremely high-quality, excellent Christian TV series coming out on VidAngel, directed by my writing mentor’s son. I’ve heard incredible things about it but am not sure if it’s released yet. You might check it out!

      Captain Marvel sounds awesome! I have yet to see it. XD OOH KARATE. My brother takes MMA and I’ve always been interested in it. Not much has been going on lately except for my aunt’s visit and Camp NaNoWriMo, but I’m hoping to be able to go to youth week at my church later this month.

  3. Hannah July 15, 2019 at 12:49 pm - Reply

    Oh my goodness – these are all so true!

    • Madi July 15, 2019 at 1:37 pm - Reply

      OOH A HANNAH COMMENT! Amen! Thanks for reading and commenting!

  4. Kirstyn Todd July 15, 2019 at 1:18 pm - Reply

    Woah, hold on a second, Madi–What do you mean by “praying in tongues?” Do you mean, like… Charasmatic type of praying in tongues? Or do you actually know what you’re saying? I’m asking because I thought you were Pentecostal, so when I read that I was a little surprised.

    • Madi July 15, 2019 at 1:36 pm - Reply

      Pentecostals definitely believe in praying in tongues. Baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues is the defining point of their denomination. (Acts 2)

      But as for Charismatic-type beliefs (gifts of the Spirit, etc.) I believe those as well so I guess you could pin me down as a mix of both denominations. After looking in the dictionary they are extremely similar and both involve praying in tongues.

      Simply put: I’m the most radical believer in the power of the Holy Spirit.

      • Rebcake July 15, 2019 at 11:35 pm - Reply

        Amen to that! The power of the Holy Spirit is the power of the Holy Spirit, no matter what denomination you pack it into.

        And it’s always good to find someone else who believes in it so radically. 😀 Here’s to living a life of victory!

        • Madi July 16, 2019 at 8:07 pm - Reply

          Amen!! 😀

  5. olivehiddenhollow July 15, 2019 at 1:19 pm - Reply

    Yeeeeaaaaaaah now I’m not so outraged that you had an appointment on your birthday lol that news was a GREAT present! ??
    I am ridiculously excited because my youth pastor’s wife is having their first baby due in like THREE DAYS and they better watch out I might steal it I have infant withdrawal oops.?
    Most crazily, ~Olive

    • Madi July 15, 2019 at 1:38 pm - Reply

      My birthday present from the Lord :’) ??

      AWWW! Aren’t babies just the cutest? XD Please do not kidnap, you might wind up in jail. 😀 XD

      • olivehiddenhollow July 15, 2019 at 3:38 pm - Reply

        Ehehehe, they’d have to catch me first!

    • Kirstyn Todd July 20, 2019 at 2:43 pm - Reply

      So happy for your pastor’s wife!!! I love babies so much :’)

  6. Rebcake July 15, 2019 at 11:19 pm - Reply

    *has been applauding all throughout this post*
    *reaches the end and is still applauding*
    *cannot stop applauding*

    • Madi July 16, 2019 at 8:06 pm - Reply

      OH LOOK A REBEKAH COMMENT! Thanks so much for reading and commenting! And apparently applauding XD

  7. ornamentofgraceblog July 16, 2019 at 1:58 am - Reply

    Madi, thank you so much for this! This was so amazing, and so encouraging! God was just teaching me about this the past few days, so this was perfect timing. I’ve been experiencing this too! He’s been reminding me that I can focus on all the gifts He’s given me, and how His joy gives me strength.
    Also, this: “I’m convinced if you disregard any opinion contrary to God’s Word, you’ll have a pretty darn great life.” Wow, so true. Thanks for sharing!! 🙂


    • Madi July 16, 2019 at 8:27 pm - Reply

      Aww, thanks so much for reading! I’m so glad you enjoyed. I hope you are strengthened and joyful as you walk through anything you might face! 😀 Thanks for commenting!

  8. Laura July 17, 2019 at 2:57 pm - Reply

    Awesome post Madi! *slaps forehead for being so late to read this* It is always comforting to know that god is there no matter what! 😀 And that no matter WHAT is going on you can talk to him! 😀 Your posts are always epic enough for me to want to comment. *fist bumps*

    -Laura <3 🙂

    • Madi July 17, 2019 at 7:24 pm - Reply

      Oh don’t worry, I am late to read posts as well 😀 XD Absolutely!! That alone always comforts me! 😀 AWW, thanks so much for commenting! I always get excited when I see a Laura comment. XD *fist bumps*

  9. Carlye July 23, 2019 at 12:41 am - Reply

    This post was so inspiring, just like all of your other blog posts.
    It’s nice to get a reminder that God is always there and it isn’t His fault that I’m suffering. It will get better eventually and all I can do is pray for the clouds to lift.

    • Madi July 25, 2019 at 5:10 pm - Reply

      Thanks so much for reading! God’s presence is such a comfort in tough times! ❤️❤️

  10. Hanne T August 9, 2019 at 8:27 pm - Reply

    I love this so much! Thank you for sharing your journey and what you’ve learned with us: it was really encouraging!

    • Madi August 22, 2019 at 10:35 pm - Reply

      (Apologies if it didn’t let you know it was simply awaiting moderation the first time.) Thanks for reading and commenting, Hanne!

  11. Chocoviv August 10, 2019 at 12:32 pm - Reply

    Sharing joy;)

  12. Camille L. August 30, 2019 at 11:19 pm - Reply

    Hey Madi! Did you listen to Audrey Mack’s teaching from AW’s Healing Is Here Conference? Love how God speaks through her!!

    • Madi August 31, 2019 at 9:34 pm - Reply

      I haven’t heard that yet! But it sounds amazing—is it available online or was it only at the conference?

  13. Lily Smitcher September 4, 2019 at 1:33 pm - Reply

    This is an amazing post! I’m currently facing the largest challenge of my life and this post is incredibly uplifting and inspiring, exactly the thing that I needed to read today! Thank you so much!!

    – Lily

    • Madi September 7, 2019 at 10:56 am - Reply

      I’m so blessed to hear that, Lily! Thanks so much for reading and commenting! ❤️

  14. Maya September 21, 2019 at 7:30 pm - Reply

    Hello there! I showed up months too late… But I have a quick question: what do you mean by disregarding anything contrary to God’s word? Does that mean ignoring other opinions, discounting them, or something else?

    Thanks for this post! I loved the first bit of it and am excited to find out what the last part means 🙂

    • Madi September 21, 2019 at 9:18 pm - Reply

      It’s great to hear from you, Maya!

      To disregard means to “pay no attention to; ignore”. And I would add completely rejecting it. If someone says something completely contrary to the Bible, don’t even give it any weight. It’s not true.

      Hope that clarifies! Thanks for stopping by.

  15. Bella G. Bear January 18, 2020 at 11:55 am - Reply

    I enjoyed this post, it gives me hope. Thanks for writing it. Life has been though for a long time, however I am working on positivity and being more strong to handle the bad things. THis goes simultaneously with getting closer to God I guess. Religion has always played a role in my life because I am raised protestant. However, my personal faith has gone though many different manifestations. I don’t really know yet how to find out God’s purpose or to hear his voice but maybe that will come in time and with prayer.

    Keep inspiring people with your writings 🙂

    • Madi January 22, 2020 at 3:50 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting, Bella! I hope life gets better for you — way to go for working on positivity and getting closer to God. (I do have a post called How to Find Your God-given Purpose if you are interested.) Thanks again for reading!

      • Bella G. Bear January 26, 2020 at 1:18 pm - Reply

        thank you. I might checkt it out later when I feel ready 🙂

  16. infinitelyadaydreamer December 3, 2020 at 6:11 pm - Reply

    I admire how convicted you stand in your beliefs Madi. You’re right- God is Good. Always has been and always will be. We were not promised a life of complete ease but our earthly journey is only the beginning. God’s light, mercy and faithfulness will always stand tall and true, prevailing. It will be everlasting. In a modern world so caught up in frenzy and mania, we’ve lost our way and failed to see how God works through us each and every day in ways subtle and significant. After all, they are most valid and transformative and happen in his divine timing. Our only job now is to sit back, relinquish our worries and pains and be the living word.

    Your site is gorgeous and so inspiring. Thank you for the follow and for brightening my day! x


    • Madi August 17, 2021 at 7:13 pm - Reply

      I’m not sure if I responded to this because it ended up in my pending but just in case I haven’t, thank you so much for stopping by and commenting, Maryam!

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