Oct 12, 2009 by Bruce Demarest | 0 Comments
The news media daily shout that we live in a troublesome and treacherous world. Jesus forewarned his followers, “In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33)—“trouble” meaning distress, affliction or oppression. We may become distressed by loss of a job, break-up of a close relationship, serious illness or political unrest. When life falls apart how should we respond?
If there be fault on our part, we admit our wrongs, repent of them and receive God’s gracious forgiveness. Moreover, we should view the challenge as an invitation to full surrender to God. Although total abandonment is threatening, as C. S. Lewis noted, “God cannot bless us unless He has us.” In addition, we should trust God in the sense of relying on his Word and persistent prayer rather than leaning on our fickle feelings. In the words of the prophet, “Let those who walk in the dark, who have no light, trust in the name of the LORD and rely on their God” (Isa. 50:10).
Let us also recognize the value of hardship and suffering in God’s providential economy. As Jesus “learned obedience through the things he suffered” (Heb. 5:8), so trials refine and strengthen our character. God often accomplishes his greatest work in our lives not in times of prosperity but in seasons of poverty. It will be helpful also to walk through challenging circumstances with a spiritual friend who will support us in our struggles and uphold us in prayer. Finally, reach out to others in their time of need. By so doing we not only contribute to their welfare but also discover our own spirits uplifted and enriched.