Do you hate your life? Now be honest, ‘cause I’m being completely serious here. You ever look at your life in the mirror and say, “This sucks. It’s not the one I wanted and I want out.” I know how that feels. In fact, I think a lot of people know how that feels. The biggest problem is that we don’t know what to do with those feelings. Usually people completely ignore or suppress those feelings because they think no one else cares, or they think people will see them as too dramatic; or even worse, (if you’re a Christian) you might even think that you’re somehow not allowed to feel those things and that you’re some kind of freak because you’re the only one who does feel that way, so you should just pretend that everything is just peachy even though you’re dying inside.
Let’s do the thing that no one seems able to do in this whole situation, which is, let’s look it straight in the eye. In fact, why don’t you do this: Go to a mirror in your house and say, “This sucks. My life is hard, I hate it and it sucks.” You see, I don’t want to do that thing that you’re afraid people will do, which is, I don’t want to look at your hard time and say, “Come on man, it’s not that bad. It could be worse. Why don’t you stop complaining and just be happy.” Don’t you HATE IT when people do you like that? Me too. Okay, scratch all that. Your life is hard sometimes and you need to be free to say that… Out loud.
Now, since we’re straight-up looking at this thing in the eye, let’s go ahead and look at everything about it. It sucks, it’s hard, it’s probably not fair and you don’t know how much more you can take, but there’s more. Yep, I said it. There’s more to see here. Here’s the thing: when you stare down the barrel of your hard time, you need to take it all in. When you’re in the middle of something crappy like this, I’m not going to send you a ‘Precious Moments’ greeting card and tell you it’s not that bad. It’s that bad and I hurt with you. But I am going to tell you this, it’s not the only thing going on here. I absolutely guarantee you that in the midst of your pain, God is up to something really cool and deeply good. You can’t always see it, but I guarantee you it’s happening.
When Jesus was carrying His cross through the streets of Jerusalem on his lacerated and bleeding back, people crowded the streets and mocked Him. They spat on Him and laughed at Him. Now folks, it doesn’t get much more tragic than that… The only innocent man who ever lived was tortured, and while heading to His undeserved execution, was being openly and publicly humiliated. What in the world could possibly be good about that?! Well, you couldn’t see it. No one could. And no one even knew it till years later when a brother named Paul wrote this: “He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”
Dang! Did you catch that!? While Jesus was being made fun of, God was there in the invisible spiritual realm using that same cross to publicly humiliate Satan and his thugs! God was using that tragedy to have the last spiritual laugh over Satan. He flipped that whole thing upside down! BOOM! Now, I’m not going to tell you that you’re not having a hard time. I’m not going to tell you to just suck it up and deal with it because ‘it’s not all that bad.’ No! What I’m saying is, I hear you. It sucks. But check this, that’s not all there is! God is there and I promise you He is up to something amazing. You may not see it for years and years, but He’s behind the scenes somewhere flipping it all upside down. You’ll see it one day. Till then, let’s hold on to the promise (Romans 8:28) and believe what we can’t see.