So watch yourselves.
“If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.”” —Luke 17:3-4
Life is hard. There’s just no getting around this fact. Even though we are following God, things still get really difficult. People we love get sick and die. Sometimes our dreams end up in disappointment. And with wars and famines and sickness, the world seems to be falling apart.
You’re not alone in this feeling troubled by all this turmoil. The bible records many times when people looked around their world and felt overwhelmed and alone.
A prophet named Elijah stood up for God against an evil king. The king’s equally evil wife was so enraged by Elijah that she promised to have him killed. Elijah ran for his life and ended up so afraid and overwhelmed that he was ready to give up. But God was still there. (1 Kings 19:3-8)
Sometimes God asks us to do something difficult in order to serve him. Jonah was asked to do something really hard; he was called to bring the good news of God’s forgiveness to a city called Nineveh. It would be like God telling you to go talk to a bunch of terrorists who wanted nothing more than to kill you. So Jonah decided to run the other way and ignore God’s call. Then things got a lot more difficult than he’d bargained for. (Jonah 1:1-6, 11-15) But that’s not the end of Jonah’s story. God was still there, even though Jonah ran from Him. God didn’t let Jonah drown. He provided an interesting place for Jonah to “chill” and think about what he’d done. In this place, Jonah realized what a mess he’d made of things, and God brought him to where he should have gone in the first place. (The Lord provided a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was inside the fish three days and nights. From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God.)
God has been in the business of helping people through difficulties for a long, long time. You can count on the fact that he’ll be there to help you, too, when you call on Him.
I believe one reason God allows us to experience hard things in our lives is so we can become the warriors (SOULΔiers!!) God wants us to become. God wants people of integrity who are tough, tested, confident, strong and courageous. He wants battle-worn soldiers who know what it’s like to be in the trenches and aren’t afraid of a challenge. Allowing battles and difficulties to come into our lives ensures a training ground to grow the kind of troops God is looking for to change the world.
Another reason God allows tough times is so we learn to look beyond the here and now to Him, heaven and our spiritual future. It is very easy to get sucked into the world, but when God allows something to rock our world, it is often a wake-up call to pay attention to what is the most important. Not only that, but He also uses struggles in our lives to open the eyes of people around us.
One thing I noticed when I’m going through a particular tough time is that I can find someone who is in a much worse situation than I am, and all of a sudden I have a lot to be thankful for and my situation doesn’t seem so bad.
I learned that God doesn’t put me through hard times for His enjoyment. The hard stuff in life is for something important, so I better pay attention and get the most I possibly can out of the experience. Otherwise, I am wasting my time and opportunity to be a part of something great.
Although it might be hard to see the good in a terrible situation, we can trust that God will use it someday, somehow for something incredible, and all the bad that happened in that situation will somehow be turned toward His glory and the good of those who trust Him.
Toy Story 2:
Toy Story 3:
WATCH NOW. Disney Channel. Oh, I so love this movie. <3