When bad things happen to folks who love Jesus, most folks have a crisis of faith. They just can’t imagine why God would allow something difficult or tragic to come into the life of someone who is really living for the Lord. The first question anyone asks when hard things come is, “Why?” That’s what everyone wants to know. They want to know why - which is understandable, but also unanswerable. You see, God hardly ever invites any of us to the ‘why-things-happen’ meetings. We simply don’t know why God allows bad stuff to happen. When the world caves in, the real question folks ought to be asking is, “What?” In other words, when bad things happen to someone you love, or even to your very own little self, the first question should not be, “Why is this happening?” but, “What do I need to do next?”
I know, I know, hardly any of us deals with our problems in that way. When it hits the fan in our lives, most folks usually go through all kinds of emotions ranging from fear and worry to anger and panic. Now, obviously those type of emotional reactions don’t do any good, whatsoever, but it’s really easy for us to recognize that right now, when we’re comfortably seated in front of our computers. The problem is that when we’re in the middle of tragedy or trouble, we don’t really think all that rationally.
So, here’s my idea: Let’s take advantage of this little window of time where things are relatively chill and use this opportunity to completely redefine hard times. Let’s figure out how the Lord wants us to see our difficulties and troubles right now, so that maybe we can short circuit our natural tendency to freak out. So, without further ado…
Lee Presents: A More Accurate (And Biblical) Outlook On Hard Times
- Hard times are not the end of the world, because I belong to another world that’s eternal. (Philippians 3:20)
- Difficulties do not have the power or potential to ruin my life, because God is in control of my life and is working everything together for my absolute best. (Romans 8:28)
- Tragedies do not mean God has abandoned me, because He promised He would never leave me or forsake me. (Hebrews 13:5)
- The bad things that are happening to me are not punishment for my sin, because Jesus took my place on the cross and paid for all of my sin once and for all. (1 Peter 2:24)
- Problems do not mean that God hates me or is mean to me, because He showed His love for me in the fact that He gave His Son for me. (John 3:16)
The following is what the Bible actually does say about problems:
Hard times are experiments. Seriously. It’s not that God is mistreating you or leaving you or punishing you or hating you. When you go through a hard time, it’s God making you into something. He’s testing out your faith. He’s showing you where you are and where you need to grow. It’s just like an experiment in Science class. We believe certain things - but how do those theories stand up in our heart when the heat is turned up? You see, God isn’t lashing out at you - He’s training you! God isn’t punishing you or abandoning you - He’s making you better at this! Now, doesn’t that just absolutely change the game?! I mean, seriously. If I know for a fact that my hard times are just experiments and not some crisis where God has become mean or left me high and dry, then I can face them in a completely different way! If I know for a fact that this is just a practical experiment for my faith, then I can not only face it, but I can face it with joy, knowing that there is no doubt I’ll make it to the other side!
That being said, check out what James says in Chapter 1 of his book: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.”
Guys, hard times are just a work out! God is training you. He wants to develop your muscles and reflexes. He wants us to get better at simply hanging on to our faith, and hanging in there. Now, that’s a test you can pass.