Articles

Articles

The Difficulty of Living

Life is a marriage, the loss of a job, ­potential financial disaster, or any of the other countless struggles faced, ­overwhelming. Whether it’s the loss of a loved one, the diagnosis of a ­terrible disease, the end of life is often an ­overwhelming task.


I was reminded of that this week when I felt water leaking through light fixture above our bed. Something as simple as a drain line from an air conditioner can cause you to lose sleep and worry for hours. By the way, that’s not even that hard. It’s an easy fix. We all face much worse struggles than that.


And trying to be a faithful disciple seems to make things harder, doesn’t it? Satan is certainly prowling around trying to get us to give up on life and our faith (1 Peter 5:8). His attacks are relentless. And whether it takes a leaking air conditioner, cancer, job loss, or the loss of a loved one, he is willing to do whatever it takes to ­assault us.


The difficult challenge is to continue to trust in God. The book of Job was ­preserved for a reason. It provides a ­survivor’s handbook for difficult days. Perhaps no one encountered more ­assaults by the evil one than Job. Despite all of the destruction and grief in his life, Job continued to hold on to God: “Though he slay me, I will trust in Him” (Job 13:15).


How is that kind of faith possible? Here are four things to help us maintain our trust in God:

 

  • Tell God exactly how you feel. The Old Testament heroes never shirked from revealing their true feelings. Jonah told God how mad he was after ­Ninevah repented (Jonah 4:2–3). ­David told God he felt forsaken and cast off (Psalm 22:1). Job said, “I’m angry Lord!” (Job 7:11). If God truly is our friend, then we should feel ­comfortable enough to express our true feelings. Be open and honest with God.
  • Focus on the facts. Life is confusing. Someone once said, “Never doubt in the dark what God has told you in the light.” There are undeniable facts we know about God—God is good, God loves me, God hears my prayers, God will not give me more than I can handle, etc. Focus on those important facts. Job said, “I know that my ­Redeemer lives” (Job 19:25). He focused on the facts! So should you!
  • Trust God to keep His promises. No matter how devastating our ­circumstances are, they do not change the nature of God. God has said, “I will never leave you or forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). Cling to that ­promise! You are never alone! He has also promised that we have a reward when this life is over (Matthew 5:10–12). Cling to that promise!
  • Remember what He has already done. God loves us so much that He has already given up His Son for us (John 3:16). The cross is proof of everything we need to know about God’s love for us. And He did that even though we were sinners (Romans 5:6–8). You were worth God’s Son. We can never doubt His love for us. Cling to that love in the difficult days.

Life is hard. And the difficulty of life can’t be avoided. Virginia Woolf said, “You ­cannot find peace by avoiding life.” How true! But you can find peace in Christ. Paul said to take our worries to the Father through the Son so that we can have a peace that “surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:6–7). When you encounter the dark times of life, never give up your faith in God.