Post 98….Hard Times

Are you going through some hard times right now?  A lot of people are feeling they are at the end of their rope. In this day and age, we see a lot of evil out there, and it brings hard times for people.   I’ve been there before, several times, in fact, and it is not a good place to be. It felt like my world had caved in.  Do you ever feel like that?

Well, then you will hear some Christians say that you don’t have enough faith, or you would not feel like that.  Not necessarily so, because even the disciples, in the Bible, had times they struggled. Yes, we need to keep our faith up and we do that by staying in the word of God, praying, and spending time with the Lord. 

Maybe, you are facing some deep trials in your life.  We all, at some point, go through them.  When this happens we can find ourselves struggling horribly, and with what feels like there is no way out of our situation.  Because of that our faith can go caput for a time. 

I have found out, over the years, that the times of struggle no matter how difficult they have been in my life…there is always something I learned from everything I went through.   Also, struggles don’t make me a victim.  Many times, the very things I struggled with I could very well have caused it in some way, so why would I want to go around and blame anyone else for my actions? Struggles should make us learn something and not just claim injustice in our minds. Do you say, “Why did this happen to me/us, or do you say, what can I learn from this struggle?” I don’t need to go around and blame anyone.  Oh, they might have had something to do with the issue, but I want my life back and to learn whatever I need to learn to get there.  I also have learned to forgive others and let them go. When we take responsibility for our actions we can’t cry out, “my life is not fair.” The things we struggle with in life others have also gone through similar things.  God said that there was nothing new under the sun”.  Because of that statement, we can see that whatever we face in this life someone else has also.

A victim imagines his hard times have come because God is trying to punish him, but it would be best to understand that God allows hard times to help us grow. The victim will feel sorry for themselves, but it would best be for them if they changed that around and would help others through their struggles. I have also learned that when struggles come, I’d rather work with God to get things right than whine and complain. Trials and struggles are very unsettling.  No one is exempt from suffering.  Our trials are appointed.  Do we call struggles accidents, or do we call them incidents or opportunities?  Our trials in life can be quite necessary so we can grow in the Lord.    And no………………they are not fun experiences.      

Christians often react by questioning God and His motives and not that they are where God wants them to be currently.  Instead, they often think that they have done something wrong and that God must be displeased with them. Even some mature Christians react this way, as evidenced by Paul’s words of reassurance to Timothy many years later. “Everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Tim. 3:12). Yet storms often come to believers to make them able to stand firm, rather than to blow them away (cf. 2 Cor. 4:15-16).  (From the Bible Knowledge Commentary).

The devil tempts us to doubt God’s goodness.  This started in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve were tempted to doubt God.  It is still going on today.  How many times do you doubt God when you are going through struggles in your life?  How many times have you been tempted in your life?   Under pressure do you begin to give in and believe the lies?  Doubting God is not a wise move in anyone’s life. 

Our Trials can be very Productive.  God makes no mistakes! Not now, not ever!!! We need God and we need others of like faith as well.  When we are hurting other Christians can give us prayers and strength as well.  We never have to face our situation alone.  Oh, people might not be there when we need them, but God Almighty is always there for us.  You can’t go anywhere without Him knowing and being there with you.  He will walk that situation through with you/me. 

 “Jesus is never tolerant of sin, but always willing to forgive it “IF” we confess our sins, and we turn from them. That is repentance.  God doesn’t want anyone to go to hell but all to go to heaven.  It is not God that zaps you into hell: it is your choice of whether is Jesus your Lord and Savior, or have you rejected Him.

We need each other, but some didn’t have anyone else to lean upon.  However, again…I tell you that if everyone else on this earth walked away from you God is still there for you.  You can trust Him in everything.   We never suffer alone even if, at the time, we feel like we do.

Ever wonder about your so-called family and friends and what they say or feel when they see you going through tough times?  Were they there for you?  Did they encourage you?  Were they waiting to see how you would handle the tough times or calamities that came into your life?  Ever wonder if they want to see if what you say you believe…is real in your life?  Do you lash out in anger when you are going through “stuff”?  Many people keep back and observe how we act in response to oppression, hateful allegations, sickness, the loss of a job, the end of our marriage, a career setback, or a financial collapse. From the shadows, they watch us as we suffer to see if what we have is real or not. No, it is not right or fair, but that is sure how the world acts at times.  Have you, yourself acted this way regarding another that you should have been there for?

One of my pet peeves was when my son was killed.  I’m sure the person, in their mind, was well-meaning…however, it was the absolute worst thing, in my mind, for someone to say.  “Well, at least you have other kids!”  It was so cruel in my mind that even after all of these years since my son was killed that is the comment that comes to mind.  I wish they never would have said anything because that comment was horrific to me.  As I said, they probably meant well…many times we all mean well, but have no clue as to the pain certain comments made can hurt the person we gave them to. 

Many people reading this message are going through hard times right now. Some might even seem minor to another person, but be overwhelming to them.  We don’t see someone’s heart or know how deep pain runs in their life over the situation.  We, in this day and age, see horrific things happening every day and we want Jesus to return today to take us, His bride/the church home.  We see the pain of things happening to our children and we can’t fix something.  We see marriages fall apart, jobs lost, inflation, a country, right now, is run by insane people with the intent of destroying it, health issues, bitterness, anger, unforgiveness all around us, liars, cheats, schemers, violence out of control…and the list is endless. 

You watch the insanity of the news media, the lies being told by everyone, on both sides of the aisle in DC and elsewhere, the scheming, the greed, the hate, and you want to throw your hands up and say, “stop this crap”…but they won’t.  Liars lie, cheats cheat, greed gets worse, and we are living in the end times so we know that things will get worse…however, it doesn’t mean we wish it would stop and people would come to Jesus and get a brain in that head.  I look at some of these people running for office and they promise this or that over and over knowing all the while, that many of them will get into office and turn just like the people who were already there.  If we could only see their soul as God does…but we can’t.  We vote for what we think is best but people change, lie, scheme, and take bribes from the people giving money to get them into office, where when they are in that office…that person/s who gave big sums of money expects something in return. Victims of crimes are out there on their own while the criminals are let out of jail over and over again, and go right back out and harm others again.  The establishment wants our guns and anything that helps us protect ourselves and family…but they have and do what they want to be taken away from us.  No, it is not right or fair, but we, who are Christians know that very soon Jesus will return and these evil ones will be dealt with.

Was thinking this morning of people I could not fathom getting into heaven, while some I would think would be there…but again, we don’t see what God does, and we don’t know who confessed their sins, got right with God, and who changed their destiny.  I think many people when/if they make it to heaven will wonder how so-and-so got into heaven and another didn’t.  I’m sure glad God is God and we aren’t. I wonder just how many people we would send to hell?

Now, think about this:  All of us want our pains to just go away.  But God has established that your trials are part of his plan to make you like Jesus. We might not fully understand that.  We, all,  see things from a human point of view.   I might hurt you instead of helping you even though my motives would be good to be able to take away your tests, trials, temptations, and pain. God doesn’t cause that pain, but allows it, at times.  Why?  To get us right with Him, move in the right direction, and cross that finish line victoriously. 

“He knows the way that I take. When he has tried me, I will come forth as gold” (Job 23:10). Anyone who knows the story of Job in the Bible…knows this man suffered greatly and we pray that our life will never have those kinds of things happen to us or anyone we love.  However, as bad as Job had it he made it through, kept his faith, and came out the other side. 

I saw this statement so want to share it with you:   “You can have an easy life, or you can have deep faith. You can’t have both. There is no gold without the fiery furnace.”  Isn’t that a great statement?  I sure think it is. 

So what have we learned here, if anything?  Our hard times are aimed to bring us closer to the Lord. So even if we wished we never went through hard/difficult times…most likely we will at some point…or many times over the years. Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. If we are Christian, then in our soul we know God is with us, cares for us, and is getting us right with Him to be a member of heaven.  I know in my darkest of times He was still with me even when the tears flowed from my eyes.  People always let me down, and people let people down every day.  But………….. God never leaves me, forsakes me, and is always trying to get and keep me on the road to heaven.  We all want to believe that all our loved ones are there for us especially when things are difficult.  Some are more than others, but some have no real clue as to what to do, say, or how they can help even if they wished they could.  People say a lot of dumb things and a lot of people’s feelings are hurt…but know this everyone on this earth can desert you but God is still going to be right there with you no matter what.  You can trust Him because He loves you more than every human who has ever lived or will live.  That’s love.  He went to the cross for you and me…and took our place.  We can truly trust Him in every area of our life.  So………..get to trusting!