About the Author

Sarah Beckman is a national speaker and author. Her second book, Hope in the Hard Places, helps people walk through struggles with tangible help, biblical truth, and a heavy dose of hope. For more information on her books, speaking, or blog, visit http://www.sarahbeckman.org.

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  1. Sarah,
    Having suffered, myself, with anxiety and depression and having had some really desperately low points in my life, I have found that intentionally being simple – clinging to one verse that speaks to me in the pit has been the most helpful. It’s not the time to digest paragraphs of writing, but one line….one truth from God’s Book of Promises is what I held onto. That and calling out the name of Jesus. My prayers were/are that short – “Jesus, help.” I also visualized myself being the helpless lamb that Jesus was holding in His strong comforting arms. He is holding me close to His beating heart of love for me. When life is its roughest, I find simplicity is best. Reminding myself God is good; He is with me; I can trust His heart of love for me. It kind of boils down to the basics. God bless you in your ministry and for being there for people in the messy!!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    • Sara, this is so comforting to me right now. My situation is different I don’t suffer from depression and I have had aniexty. But, going through Troubling times you feel alone and don’t hear God. Sometimes you need that person to remind you that God does care about my pain.

      • Millie! He does care about you. Thank you for sharing here. Means so much when people are willing to bring what’s in the dark into the light. God sees you!

    • I have always wanted to be a mother but unfortunately it wasn’t in Gods plan. I struggled for so long to figure out why. It was hard for me to see my siblings raise children and I felt there was a hole in my heart. Finally after years of trying to find answers I realized that I had to let it go and put it in God’s lap. He has a plan for my life and I have to trust and believe. I think your book looks very interesting and I can gain some knowledge from it. Good luck and thanks for your insight.

    • I have bipolar disorder and I remember having to go through therapy years back. Before then I never accepted I have mental illness. What kept me going was listening to Chris Tomlin ‘s Good Good Father. I’d listen over and over again, cry , knowing I’m loved and accepted by God inspite of what I was going through helped me.
      Indeed, God is there even in the middle of the darkness .

  2. I found hope through my church, friends and family when my daughter was born with a genetic condition. For 40 days we prayed in the NICU. She is thriving today, but our lives are a constant battle with hope. She continues to need many specialists and her ongoing care is expensive.

  3. I suffered from panic attacks when my health was in question and I could not control what my body was doing. During my second time in the emergency room, my body would shudder and shake. I could not control it. My mind would go places that were scary. That’s when I remembered that God was bigger than what was going on. He was in control even though I was out of control. I started to sing hymns (mind you, I cannot carry a tune) and quoting scripture over and over again. By doing this, my body calmed down and I was able to rest. So many times, we know the promises of God and we know that He will never leave us or forsake us but in the midst of panic we seem to forget until God brings us back around to Himself and reminds us of who is He and that He is right there for us.

    • Diane,
      I have many times known that I could call on God and chose not to! I love that you knew and you actually followed through! Thankfully we have a God who pursues us. And loves us through it all. Bless you sister.

  4. Clinging to simple truths of scripture… God will never leave me nor forsake me. God is God and does good. God’s ways are perfect (even when I don’t understand). Reading His word even if feels like an empty, futile exercise.

  5. Sarah, thank you for a great read this am as I sit in the dark waiting for my day to begin. I know and believe in hope but our nephew is and has been going through his own dark and hard times. We are in fear of getting that call. So I’m always looking for something to help him look for his own hope and to remember God is always with him. It hasn’t been easy and as you said doesn’t come at the right time in “our” lives but God never promised us it would be easy. I will pass on your words to him and pray it helps and makes sense to him that God is there for him even when he feels there is no hope. Thank you for this bright spot in my day!!

  6. My family and I watched my vibrant 47 year old husband crumble to appendix cancer in just over a year. My hope came through two avenues during that time: expesssing gratitude to God, even if my heart felt wounded by him; and humbling myself to receive help from my church and community. During a raw moment of heartbreak and anguish as I lamented under the stars, the Lord clearly said to me, “Abundant life. I have come to give you and your kids abundant life.”

    • Anne, How hard this is! But I love when God speaks to us in a way we know it’s him – I’m so happy he gave you a word that you could cling to in this hard time. Blessings to you and your children for that abundant life!

  7. Oh, Sarah, it’s such a struggle when God calls us out on the very thing we have written about or taught! I love it when He does that, but . . . I also really don’t like it, because it forces me to look at my words and try to trace the crooked path back to a heart that is so often tempted to live an empty shell of a life.
    Thanks for putting your plans on hold to step into a mess, and the next time that happens to me, I’m going to be grateful for your example and your story.

    • Michele, Thank you! So often God calls me on the carpet! : ) He’s the author, we’re just an actor in the drama, but we have to play our part. Blessings as you obey.

  8. Holding on to those around me who had the hope that I couldn’t find – that is how I have made it through.

  9. Sarah, Your post came at the right moment for me. My sister, who is single, is dealing with terrible pain from MS and arthritis. I realize I have to be her Hope – she was told years ago that it’s sinful to pray for yourself that we must accept our suffering as payment for our sins. I’m having a hard time ‘erasing’ that from her mind – recently I prayed I would have the right words to get her through a particularly painful time and God’s grace gave me the right words to reach her. I found HOPE in trying to give her Hope!

  10. Oh, this would be such a perfect book for my DD right now. She is walking through a dark place.

  11. I often regret the choices that led me to an abusive relationship. However, when I look at my daughter I am reminded of the blessings in the mess. She gives me hope.

  12. I have found hope by clinging to God’s promises, and with the help of a counselor.

  13. Hope in Jesus has sustained me through a difficult childhood, through later challenges with teenage daughters, and now through a season of cancer as my husband battles Leukemia. Would love to have this book…

  14. I received a phone call in the early morning. There had been a horrific motorcycle accident. Complete leg amputation, severely,not sure salvageable other leg, minute by minute, hour by hour…it was my beloved son. I gave it to lord as I always have in my life. Had to decide weather quicker to fly or drive to get to him. Ended up choosing 9 hour drive. He was on life supports when we got there, not sure other than amputation what other injuries other than completely fractured other leg. Police claimed the scene fatal. He survived! He is thriving 3 years out. I praise God daily. It has not been easy. I continue to ALLmy Trust , Hope and Faith in the Lord! GOD IS GOOD!

  15. Wise words for everyone. While I am not personally going through such a dark place right now, I am walking beside a dear dear friend who is! Your book could be so helpful to her and me as we navigate these dark times together. I always seek God’s Word first, then other books, etc. Thank you for these uplifting words of wisdom.

  16. Throughout this incredibly difficult season, receiving daily devotionals, like these, have truly sustained me and reminded me of God’s truth. I started a journal to keep track of the things that really spoke to me so I can go back and be encouraged again and again. So thank you!!!

  17. I find hope in the verse “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength” which I have repeated in many dark moments. I connect to God when I walk in nature and so I make the effort to go for walks and pray during dark times.

  18. My church, the Bible (when I can remember the verses), and songs that come into my head. One that came while I was reading your blog was I Have this Hope (I think it’s called that?) by Tenth Avenue North. I also talk to some online friends sometimes… Just need to remember that God is the source of everything I need… I pray for the lady in your blog that she will keep holding onto hope and that God brings peace into her life.

  19. Thank you for the hope you have inspired in me. I struggle with fibromyalgia and depression. I have lost both of my parents in the last three years and my siblings have turned against me due to petty jealousies. I was ready to give up. I took the Dayspring quiz to see what my word for 2019 should be – HOPE. It was so appropriate. Ever since taking on HOPE as my one little word, scriptures of hope and many articles about hope have been flooding my social media feeds. It has been all the reinforcement I need to assure me that HOPE is indeed my word and my passion for 2019. I hope in God and know that he is all the family I need. Praise Him!

  20. Thank you for this post. I’m currently in the middle of a really hard place and relate so much to your friend, having been hospitalized for depression and SI back in the fall. I find hope by clinging to the truths of God’s Word even when my feelings lie and tell me He doesn’t care.

  21. I have battled anxiety and depression for years. I use God’s Word and Scripture memory for hope, but sometimes it’s hard to focus on the good.

  22. I found hope,when I was going through my cancer and stem cell. He went through it with me and after. I now know how he is with me. He is always there for me

  23. I have recently been on a trial of new RX for chronic migraine headache and experiencing exacting episodes of anxiety as a known side effect of the drug. Overwhelming panic! Again and again I have returned to the Bible verse selected for me at the time of my confirmation 50+ years ago. Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble. What an inspired “God moment” that selection was and it has given me HOPE and sustained me throughout the valleys of this earthly journey. I pray for all with depression and anxiety that you may find peace and comfort in the Word.

  24. As a young single Mom of 3 children, hope was what I needed in fighting breast cancer. I found hope in Isaiah 43 but also in planting flowers and seeing what beauty God brought forth. I now lead a group of women who are cancer warriors and would love to bless one of them with your book!

    • Heidi,
      I love this! One of the book’s chapters is called “entrusted” and it deals with the notion that we are to consider multiplying our trials in order to honor and glorify God. You are living that out! Carry on faithful sister.

  25. In the middle of the darkness as my husband battled cancer, God reminded me to rest in Him only. He showed me that in the really dark places in our life’s journeys his light is most brilliant!! He was always with me (us) and my life will never be the same. There is always HOPE!

  26. While I was in Nepal on the World Race in 2015, my team and I experience the second of two large, literally earth-shattering earthquakes that ravaged the country that year. We later found out that it was a 7.3 on the Richter scale and we were just 20 km from the epicenter when it hit. I watched from a mountainside as clouds of dust billowed up from the valley below, each one representing a hut or primitive building that was collapsing into rubble. I remember those moments that seemed to last an eternity with vivid clarity, but what I also remember is this: just a few hours later, a few of my teammates and I were cross-legged on the ground with a group of Nepali children crowded around us. We showed them pictures of our families back home, and covered their cheeks in brightly-colored face paint. We were all smiling – smiling! – just hours after we had lived through one of the most devastating natural disasters of our lifetime. One little girl picked up a Knowing God Personally booklet that I’d brought from my days of campus ministry with CRU and, to my surprise, she began to read it out loud! In English! So right there on a mountaintop in Sindupalchowk, Nepal, I got to share the hope of Jesus with a little Nepali girl. Or rather, I found hope in the sharing – for my precious new friend, for the people of Nepal, and for myself.

  27. While I was in Nepal on the World Race in 2015, my team and I experience the second of two large, literally earth-shattering earthquakes that ravaged the country that year. We later found out that it was a 7.3 on the Richter scale and we were just 20 km from the epicenter when it hit. I watched from a mountainside as clouds of dust billowed up from the valley below, each one representing a hut or primitive building that was collapsing into rubble. I remember those moments that seemed to last an eternity with vivid clarity, but what I also remember is this: just a few hours later, a few of my teammates and I were cross-legged on the ground with a group of Nepali children crowded around us. We showed them pictures of our families back home, and covered their cheeks in brightly-colored face paint. We were all smiling – smiling! – just hours after we had lived through one of the most devastating natural disasters of our lifetime. One little girl picked up a Knowing God Personally booklet that I’d brought from my days of campus ministry with CRU and, to my surprise, she began to read it out loud! In English! So right there on a mountaintop in Sindupalchowk, Nepal, I got to share the hope of Jesus with a little Nepali girl. Or rather, I found hope in the sharing – for my precious new friend, for the people of Nepal, and for myself.

    (Sorry if my comment posts twice – our internet has gone out multiple times since trying to post this comment!)

  28. Sarah,

    Thank you for being obedient to God. It is always easy & timing can be off, but God will bless us for doing that. I have had hard places in the past. God was what I clung to. My aging dad had multiple health issues to include dementia & psych. It was tough getting 2 am phone calls about why is it dark out or He’s fallen & is headed to hospital. It got bad enough I quit a good job to be more available for him. Talk about disrupting a life. Within the first two week of quitting I put dad on hospice. He got some better but then came psych troubles. Eventually I had to put him in alzheimer’s care unit (lock down) at assisted living. He went bananas there & we went to hospital. He ended up spending a month in geriatric psych unit. They got his meds & stuff straightened out. Did rehab & was fine for 10-11 months. Then I believe a stroke & his psych issues came back. He had to be hospitalized again. I clung to the hope that God would heal him. My church family prayed & I would listen to Christian music & dance in my kitchen knowing God would take care of this.

    Blessings 🙂

  29. Let me just say, I NEED this book! I’m in the middle of a very hard place, and it’s totally difficult to see/feel God walking along with me. Even though I “know” He’s always there, I’m not feeling it right now 🙁

  30. I have found hope in the hard places just that I have Jesus and know he is always there! I have found hope in the hard places by this very devotional you have written today! Thankyou incourage team! I have found hope in the hard places by taking time with the Lord every day and by my daughter and mother’s encouragement! Praise God for helping us in a time of need!

  31. I went through a difficult season as a teenager, struggling with depression and even contemplating suicide. I longed for escape, and I often found it in words. I wrote lots of poetry and it helped me process my emotions. It brought me hope. I didn’t know it then, but I know now that it was the Holy Spirit working within me to bring those words out and the hope that came with it. Now, as a mother of teenagers, I watch as my son exhibits some of the same traits and emotions I went through. I pray for God’s guidance to help me as we journey through these seasons. I thank you for your words today, as they touched my heart. ❤️

  32. I would love to win a copy for a young woman who tries to attend our church. She is in her early 30s and living like she is a pooly conditioned 80 something. Maybe the book can help her hang on to hope in the bad situations she deals with every day.

  33. Why I so appreciate you and why desperately want this book…

    8 weeks ago I spent 8 days in the hospital after attempting to take my own life. I understand all to well, the emptiness and pain of a hopeless life. 6 months of the last 13 months have either been spent in the hospital or in different treatment centers. As of today, I’m still trying to find my footing.

    But like you saved her, I was saved. A friends husband, who happens to be an EMT heard I was OD’ing and left the comfort of his home to come and see if I was ok or if I needed to go to the hospital. Within minutes of him seeing me, I was at the ER.

    I say all this to say thank you. Thank you for taking the time to save a life. And thank you for sharing this story with a girl who needed to hear it.

  34. I too struggled with some depression as a young teen and in my early 20’s. I started seeing a christian counselor who helped me realize my worth in Christ and how much God loved me. Knowing this truth gave me hope for my future. I’m so blessed and have hope when things turn south, because I’m a daughter of the high king! Standing on his truth and hope at the foot of the cross.

  35. I needed this reminder today! I have always used my Grandma’s favorite Pslam to help me in the darkness. It is Pslam 23 and I recite verse 4 over and over and over. 4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for you art with me; your rod and thy staff they comfort me.

  36. In the most difficult seasons, I find hope as I enter into His presence. As I choose to worship him even in the sorrow and His Holy Spirit comes upon me and ministers to my broken heart.
    My husband is currently battling very severe depression, I would love a free copy of this book to give to him. Thank you.

  37. I was diagnosed bipolar about 18 years ago. I’ve had some really low times of feeling like God has left me and thoughts that I’m not saved anymore. I’ve also struggled with suicidal thoughts that I try to fight. I find hope when I cry out to the Lord. Recently I was feeling not saved, and I cried out to God (in my head) and asked “Am I saved or not, I just need to know either way?” and within a minute or so my husband said, “do you know what Sozo means?” and I said “no” and he said “Saved”. I felt total peace from God after hearing that. I also cling to God’s Word for comfort. I love the verse in Hebrews that says “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you”. (Hebrews 13:5).

    Thanks for sharing this post! This book sounds really good!

    • Amber, I pray that you would trust God always, and recognize that even when we struggle it’s not enough to make him change his mind about us! He created you, he loves you, he sees you, he redeemed you. And he will guide you with his powerful hand. Blessings sister!

  38. I walked in the dry desert of infertility for 7 years. While all my friends and family members were having beautiful babies, I wasn’t. I was having injections and medications and exploratory surgery to try to figure out why i wasn’t getting pregnant. Hope seemed so lost. Every single month i would grieve when my cycle came. But then 6 mos after we gave up the infertility (although we felt led down that path) we ended up pregnant! And today i have a little girl (now 5) and a 2 1/2 year old boy whom are both gifts from God. I savor those 7 years now. Bc if it wasn’t for those 7 years in the desert, I wouldn’t have the faith I have today. To God be the glory!

  39. Thank you for this post! I have struggled most of my life with depression and PTSD. My mother was and still is a drug addict and she abandoned me many times as a child. She would leave me with perverted old men who were on drugs while she would go get high and she wouldn’t come back for me. There were times that I drank rotten milk from the fridge for 3 days because she left me home alone when I was only 5 years old. My dad was awarded sole custody of me and his parents, my lovely grandparents, helped to raise me. I ended up being bullied pretty badly in high school and got in with the wrong crowd and fell out of church and started experimenting with drugs (that I got from my mother, who readily offered them to me). I ended up meeting my now husband who cleaned me up and got me into an outpatient rehab. We got engaged and 2 weeks before our wedding, my grandmother who was like a mother to me passed away very suddenly. Two weeks after our wedding, my dad’s new wife cut me and my sister out of their life all together and my father went along with what she wanted so I lost the two most important people to me all in the same month. I struggled to be happy during this joyeous time because I lost two of the people who raised me and loved me so much. Not too long after we married we were told we wouldn’t be able to have children on our own so we sought the help of doctors. After many failed cycles and too many hormone injections later, I gave up trying to have a baby and I realized at that point it is all in God’s hands. God has a plan for all of us and of he wants me to be a mother, he will allow it to happen. I started praying and we got back into church and soon we forgot about trying to have a baby. About 2 years after we gave up, I found out I was pregnant and I also found out the reason I had trouble conceiving was due to a birth defect in my uterus. I hoped and trusted in the Lord that if it was in his will for me to have that baby, he would allow me to carry that baby full term. He did. On September 21, 2018, I gave birth to our miracle, Savannah Grace. I believe wholeheartedly that God tests us to see if we will trust in him. He tested me, and I failed to trust in him to begin with. Over time I realized that I should be trusting in him and not doctors and that’s when I received my blessing of this beautiful, innocent baby girl. I’ve been through so many hard times but I’ve risen above those things and I don’t allow those things to define me or my life.

  40. Faith and hope with grace and surrender to His love amen and thank you sister.
    Gods blessings
    Diane

  41. I am currently in a season of postpartum depression. While my mood has been stabilized by medication and therapy, my soul rises and dips like it’s on a roller coaster. I have found hope in God’s Word, in a His promises that are true no matter my situation and feelings. I have found hope from friends who bring me meals, help with my kiddos, text me verses and ask me how I’m doing. I have found hope through my husband, in his love through the darkness and his holding my hand when I can’t find the way. But most of all I have found hope in my God, he who whispers to my soul, I SEE YOU.

    • I find hope when I am feeling sorry for myself by remembering all the undeserved mercies God has lavished upon me and all the graces God has showered on me. Shame on me for forgetting how much love and care my Father has for me. Gratitude then replenishes hope. Hope is a wonderful thing! Thank you Jesus!

  42. My hope comes from God! When I’ve walked through the valley(s) of life, I’ve carried Him with me and I’ve never felt more loved and peaceful that has come from being on the word and having a grateful heart everyday.

    Blessings and prayers of HOPE for everyone here,

    Diana

  43. Praying and crying out to God. It sounds super spiritual, but it’s what I’ve learned to do when I can’t go on any longer.

  44. I have had hope in the last when it seems lost. Looking to His faithfulness in scriptures and to myself personally is my best way to see hope. But when it is your child’s heart……having hope for their need to see God and His love for them-that is where I feel like I am straining to see hope. I KNOW He sees, I know He hears, I believe He can but when it comes to your kids……my heart is grasping for hope.

  45. Sarah,
    Thank you for this!! I suffer from severe anxiety attacks and sometimes I feel alone or stupid because I have these. I have immediately ordered your book and I truly look forward to reading it!!

  46. if we’ve never been suicidal, we don’t understand. but Hope can seem a very impossible thing to them. BUT there IS hope in the hard places. Praying your book is going to help more people than you can ever know until we see Jesus. Thanks for being obedient in actions and in writing this book.

  47. Last july I found out I was pregnant. The pregnance was not planned and scared me because I had already two children and I was more than forty. When I decided to let go my fears and trust in the Lord, peace came over me. Unfortunatly, after 23 weeks baby died and I needed to do an abortion plus operation. The amazing thing was that two days after doctor told me about the dead baby in my bally, came a new preacher in our church. He leads a big church where I live. His preaching was about all the abortions, death of new born and sick children he had and has. He preached basically about how to trust in the Lord in the middlest of tragedies and sufferings. ThERE IS ALSO JOY IN BEING COMFORTED BY OUR LOVING FATHER and not only joy when we got healing. As christians, we need to have always hope for healing but always hope that He will never abandon us.

  48. I found hope in Ephesians 3:20 – now He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all we ask or think according to the power that is within us – during my journey with breast cancer 6 years ago. It remains one of my favorite verses and I have found many times to share it as I talk with women. What an incredible God we have!!

  49. I lost my husband to cancer three years ago after a three year battle. I have hope that I will see him and others who have gone on before me, one day, when I too, am called to my heavenly home. It is a struggle that no one understands to even get out of bed in the mornings that I am able to sleep. There are many sleepless nights.
    I’ve looked for peace in wrong places and decisions. I finally got a puppy and my nephew gave me a 10 year old Pomeranian that has filled some of the loneliness and I’ve been getting back in to bible study and looking for a new church. My pastors family moved shortly after my husbands death and I lost that support system. I move on each day putting my hope in the lord. My adult children have a lot going on in their own families and lives.

  50. Hope is such a powerful thing. I don’t think we can do without it. Even if it is as small as a peppercorn, hope is what makes us believe in the impossible. It is in the most darkest moments of our life, that one small glimmer of hope ignites such huge flames and changes us for the better. I am so thankful to all those that gave me, am still giving me that hope that better days are coming. That one day, I will become the best version of myself, a great mom, wife, sister and friend to those I so claim to love and become that light of hope to someone. Thank you Lord for always showing me that no matter what is going on in my life, there is hope.

  51. Reading the Psalms and the hymns of the faith have helped me many times when there seemed no way out of dark times. So grateful that God never lets go of me…He holds my hand because if I held His I might get weary and let go. Holding onto the promises of the Word are a comfort in difficult times.

  52. Sarah – Just finished reading your comments and went to my email and there is an “Encouragement at a glance” from KTIS – “Today I choose Faith, Trust, Prayer, Worship, Hope and Joy instead of Worry” Amen to your words and your books!

  53. I try to remind myself that I’m not here randomly or by chance but because God wanted and wants me to be here. Even when I don’t know or I’m not sure of why and what my purpose is, I try to remind myself that God knows and that He has a plan for me. God doesn’t make mistakes or accidents so if I’m here even if I feel like I’m in the middle of the storm, I have to be patient because God wants me here for a reason even if I don’t know what it is yet and perhaps the storm is the place where I should trust God and believe in His plan the most even when I feel that it is a question mark to me.