“When things don’t go right, go left”, they say. But what happens when you’ve gone left and right and up and down but it all seems to be yielding the same result? I’ve got two answers for you, depending on your category. If you happen to be an unbeliever, your solution is Jesus. Everything is right with Him. Peradventure, you’re a devoted Christian, an active one at that and you can’t seem to comprehend your current ordeal or you just lost your job because of this pandemic ravaging the world, or your schooling has been placed on hold because of your financial struggles, or everything is just going south…you might want to read this. God is saying something.
When I got this topic, I asked a question ‘how necessary are they’ [trials and tough times]? And considering the fact that Jesus endured hardship that we might have ease, why do we still go through trials? The answer is that tough times will in fact, come. Jesus hinted at it in the book of John chapter 16 vs 33 when He said “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world”. He told us that we would go through some kind of hardship but that is not to weigh us down or cause us panic because He has conquered the world! That Jesus endured hardship that we might have ease simply means, He went through all that He went through so that when we are in distress, we would be rest assured that it is already a conquered situation.
Tough times as we think, are not always about it being inevitable. God might be working something out from what we see as a problem. Joseph was wrongly imprisoned but little did he know that it was in that same prison that he’d meet someone that’d recommend him to Pharaoh. Again, trials are God’s own way of strengthening our faith. Were you depending on that job of yours for a comfortable life, or were you depending on God? Sometimes, God wants to give us an awakening call that He is still God and we cannot do without Him. Sometimes, He just wants us to have a stronger faith in Him and not get carried away by the blessings. After what Job (Job 1:1) or even Joseph went through, it’d be almost impossible for them to be shaken by any other challenge again. The bible tells us in James 1:2-4 to “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. Your troubles may be in different forms but God says you should count it all joy…it’s all part of God’s plan to make you whole.
When you have never experienced something, you might never be able to understand it. As God’s children, sometimes, we experience some things for the sake of others that we need to comfort. “[God] who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves received from God” 2 Corinthians 1:4. Furthermore, it could also be God correcting you. God chastises those He loves and maybe your idea of chastise isn’t exactly what you’re going through now but remember that you are sure to come out of it renewed and better off. God would be there for you. His grace is sufficient for you.
Now that you know the ‘why’, you should know the ‘what now’. Is God really going to let us go through it all alone? No, He says, I would never leave you nor forsake you. The Israelites were being oppressed by their enemies. They were in a form of hardship. Here is what God said to them in Isaiah 41:11 “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” He said again in verse 13 “For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, do not fear; I will help you”. He repeated the fact that He’d help them, several times in this chapter. God is telling you today that He will help you…in your hardship, you are not alone. When Joseph’s trial was ongoing, never did we read that God left Him. He is still the same today. Provided you remain under His wings, He would always be there for you.
What sustains us through our trials and tough times? It can really be discouraging when you find yourself in particular situation you don’t want for too long a time. And scaling through those times without disappointing God is a lot harder. So how then can we as children of God get through it? First thing is by having faith. Joseph who went through series of challenges did one thing very admirable; he never gave up. He always held on to hope, to faith in God and His ability to save Him. Likewise, keep holding on to a firm faith…a faith that assures you that God is with you every step of the way. However, the only way to keep your faith firm in The Lord is by active study of the word of God. The bible says in Romans 10:17 that “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God”. I’d say, faith, in this context, comes by study and study by the word of God. When things don’t seem to go right whose report do you choose to depend on? God’s or the world’s?
The sweetest success stories are always those that have been achieved after much hassle. The deeper the foundation, the taller the building. The Burj Khalifa (tallest building in the world) has a foundation of 164 ft but that is nothing near its elegant height of 2,717 ft. Romans 8:18 says “for I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us”. By the time God re-instated Job, not only would he have forgotten his past troubles but also his past glories [Job 42:10-17]. Whatever is a big challenge to you now, is incomparable to the great things that are about to be yours through Christ Jesus. They say, when you hit your rock bottom, there’s only one way to go and that’s UP! Stay faithed!