Those of us who base our life upon the biblical values may affirm the truths: Life is hard, there is a God, God is good and God is all-powerful. But if God is good, why life is so unfair? Life is hard, not only for bad people who deserve what they get, but for good people who honour God with their lives, and for innocent people like little babies stricken with grave illnesses and so on. Although the intensity of suffering varies, in the end, life is hard for all people. We have all heard the saying, “when life gets tough, the tough get going.” All of us want to believe that we can have the strength to keep going even in the midst of seemingly impossible situations, but are we? How can we make it through difficult circumstances? How can we remain standing when all around us in our world is crumbling? Is it even possible? For far too many people their answer is to give up. Often when life is not good, people are tempted to think God is not good. But this is not true. God is with us in the hard times of our life. Sure life is tough, but God is always good. It is important that we see this fact or else we will never really know God in any realistic way. When life is hard, and when life’s suffering just doesn’t make sense, at some point, by God’s mercy, we come to a place of acceptance, a place where we acknowledge God’s power and goodness, where we recognize God’s sovereignty, where we admit that we can’t fully understand God’s ways, and yet where we sense God’s presence in our lives.
Let me quote from the book of Romans 8: Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. With this confidence in God’s love, we are able to endure the hard things of life, until God finishes His work of the new creation in us. What the circumstances say is not the final word. So, go to God’s word, cling to the promises, rejoice over them and thank God for them. Also, you need to develop a closer relationship with the Lord. That is His desire and it should be ours. All relationships are based on communication, so we must talk to the Lord to deepen our relationship with Him. Develop the habit of talking with Him about everything. We can speak freely to Him – after all He knows what we are thinking anyway. No matter what we face, the Lord is with us, and we can overcome because Jesus already won the victory for us. For our faith to increase, we must hold on to the reality that this life is harsh, but God is tender, loving, caring, gentle and gracious towards us. The harshness of the world will not last. God will bring the sinfulness of this world to a final judgment and bring those who trust in Him into eternal joy.
Let me close by stating from JOHN 16:33 “I told you these things so that you can have peace in me. In this world you will have trouble. But be brave! I have defeated the world!” Jesus never promised us that everything would be perfect here on earth. He recognized that we would encounter trouble. But His instructions were to be of good cheer. As we encounter difficulties in life, it will help us to remember the big picture. First, God is our Father and He has a wonderful eternal plan for us. We are His children and He loves us. Second, the present time is but a training period for our future life with God. We are supposed to be learning to trust God and to obey Him. So, every problem we ever face is an opportunity to walk in faith and please God. Every problem is an opportunity to overcome with God’s help. How can we expect to receive the blessings promised to the overcomer if we never have anything to overcome? What is the answer when we seem overwhelmed with trouble? Look to Jesus. He has already won the victory. He has overcome and defeated the world. In Him there is victory, there is life.
We may ask how we can look to Jesus. It is mostly a matter of focus – what we choose to think on. What God says in His word will set us free and give us peace. As Christians we live with this hope, and it keeps us going when life is hard. We realize that God is not finished with us yet, and He is not finished with creation either. The time will come when He will restore all things. So now we wait, yet with the confident hope in a God who “works all things together for good,” as it says in Romans 8: 28. And we are sustained by faith in a God whose love for us never lets go. We all know that sometimes the events of life can hit us so hard that it is difficult to keep standing, let alone to get going. Fortunately we do not have to face the difficulties of life in our own strength. We do not have to face crises alone. God has promised, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you”. He will be with us in the midst of each trial to provide supernatural peace and strength if we will trust Him to do it. When life gets tough . . . TURN TO JESUS! There is LIFE in HIM. The people I have seen truly experience the Lord are the people who have suffered much in their life, but have chosen not to fear the hard times once they know that our God is walking with us and leading us through to the other side.