Leaning On God For Strength When Life Is Overwhelming

Leaning  on God when life is overwhelming, what does that look like? It sounds good on the surface, but what about practical application? How do you lean on God? And Why does it make a difference?  What happens when you reach the end of your rope and you feel like you can’t go on? On our own, in our own strength, we can’t get through the hard times, it’s just too much. Too heavy a burden to carry. But we were never meant to “make it on our own”. This is why we need God’s strength not just as a cool phrase on a sticky note or bookmark but every single day of our lives to get us through.

We need to lean on God and not on our own understanding when life is overwhelming because He is our strength, our lifeline, and the one who directs our steps. God’s word is our foundation. We need to lean on Him when we don’t have the answers, when the mountain we need to be moved, doesn’t move, when the flood water’s rise and there is no way out. We desperately need Him, we need His presence, His peace, We need Him to be our refuge and our shield when life is hard to get us through those days we just want to give up.

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Leaning On God


I think for many leaning on God sounds like you are weak, but the truth is we need to lean on God, to rely on Him, to fling ourselves into our heavenly father’s arms every day of our lives- not just when life is overwhelming. It’s not a sign of weakness, it’s not a crutch but a relationship.


So often we trivialize who our God is, we think of Him as a friend, the buddy we can walk right up to -which isn’t necessarily wrong, and in many ways is who God is to us as Christians, but in doing this we can miss who God also is.


We miss the power and majesty of the God we serve. The same majesty that caused Moses to cover his face with a veil after he’d been in the presence of the Lord because his face glowed. The same God that shut the mouth of hungry lions, and stepped into a fiery furnace.


Who terrified enemy armies, and brought destruction to the enemies of His people. That God’s love is so great for you that He died for you, dear friends. 


Yes we are His children, He loves us more than anyone- but He is so much more. I think that in our age we’ve lost sight of the true power of God. He’s become the friend you meet on Sunday, you serve, and you pray to when something is wrong but when it comes to every day so often we forget about leaning on God. Or at the very least when life is overwhelming, we can’t help but wonder what God could do about it.


Don’t lose sight of who your God is! The beginning and the end, the one who spoke, and at the mere sound of His voice galaxies and planets and stars and entire solar systems formed. The one who formed every animal, and every plant, and told every wave where they had to end.


The one who set the earth on the exact tilt and sent it spinning around the sun. Your God is not a mewling kitten but a roaring lion, who loves you so much that He sent His one and only son to save you, right where you are in the middle of your mess.

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Why It’s Important To Lean On God


Leaning on God is so important because just like any relationship He wants us to spend time with Him. To rely on Him. To bring Him every single need and every joy. He is a loving father and our safe place. It’s just as important to lean on God in the hard times as it is in the good times. He is a God of hope, and we need his presence in the tough times to bring His perfect peace to the situation. As the source of our hope, we Him in our troubled times to help us see the whole picture in this fallen world. To help us see God’s plans amid times of trouble.

What Does Leaning On God Mean?


Before we dive into how to lean on God, let’s take a look at what leaning on God means:


Lean: to rely on, or derive support from. To rest in. To be supported. 


Leaning on God simply means relying on. To find support -to let Him be your strength-, to rest in His power and let Him carry you on the hard days.


Leaning on God means to rest in the truth of God, trusting in God’s understanding even in difficult circumstances when our own preferences may differ.


That despite it all you are choosing to acknowledge that God’s ways are perfect,  even when we don’t understand. Even when we walk through the “valley of the shadow of death” we rest in the love of God and trust the word of God.


How Do You Lean On God?


Leaning on God is simply put the act of relying on God. It’s not running ahead without seeking His wisdom. It’s bringing every need, every joy, every little thing and laying them at His feet. The good things and the bad things and surrendering them to the will of God.


It’s inviting Him into every aspect of our lives. To lean on God requires you to trust God and let Him redeem your past.


Ok Cheyenne, that’s great. But how do we apply this? How do we cultivate a lifestyle of leaning on God? I’m so glad you asked! Let’s break leaning on God down into some practical easy-to-apply steps. Ready? 


  • Pray. 

    Prayer opens a conversation and allows you to pour out your heart and human understanding to an eternal God who loves you. So pray. Pray often. Cultivate a life of prayer.

    I’m not talking lay me down to sleep prayers. I mean big, bold, specific, strategic, expectant prayers. Find a prayer partner, start prayer walking with church friends or a family member, or do it alone. But start praying.

  • Remind yourself of God’s promises. 

    God’s promises are a wonderful reminder to keep leaning on God in difficult times, that His ways are not our ways, but we can trust in His righteous right hand even on our darkest day.

    Read your Bible, start studying, join a Bible study, and really dig in deep. Find a good church that will actually teach you. 

  • Take control of your thoughts. 

    Your mind is where some of the biggest battles you’ll ever fight are waged. What are you believing? What are you allowing to speak into your life? 

  • Wait on God.

    Yes even when everything screams for you to jump ahead, wait for Him to lead. I promise you, no matter how pretty the packaging looks, if that isn’t what He has planned for you and you go after it any way you will find yourself empty and hurting. Wait for Him to lead you to what He has for you, be patient. His timing is perfect. 


What Does The Bible Say About Leaning On God?


The Bible is clear about what it means to lean on God, here are some of my favorite Bible Verses about leaning on God:

Psalm 46:1-3 NIV

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. 


Isaiah 26:3-4 NIV

Those of steadfast mind you keep in peace—because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for in the Lord God you have an everlasting rock. 


1 Chronicles 16:11 NIV

Seek the LORD and his strength;  seek his presence continually! 


Exodus 33:14 NIV

My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest. 


Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV

It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed. 


Isaiah 43:1-3 NIV

Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord you God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. 


Philippians 4:6 NIV

Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 


Psalm 62:1-2 NIV

My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken. 


Psalm 91:1-2 NIV

You who live in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty, will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress; my God in whom I trust.” Psalm 91:1-2


Psalm 112:1,7-8


Praise the Lord! Happy are those who fear the Lord. They are not afraid of evil tidings; their hearts are firm, secure in the Lord. Their hearts are steady, they will not be afraid. 


2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.


Deuteronomy 31:6,8 NIV

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” 



Leaning On God In The Storm


Leaning on God is something that we as Christians must practice every day, but especially when life is overwhelming. We need Him to be our strength, to go before us, and yes to carry us when life is just too hard and we can’t go on. Can we make it on our own? Maybe, but why walk this journey alone when you can have the one who spoke everything into existence by your side ready and willing to provide for you?


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