You are not where you are by accident. You are not facing what you are facing by mistake. The hardships before you didn’t take God by surprise. The “worst day of your life” didn’t occur without purpose. You have not “hit rock bottom” to merely make a bed and lay there forever.
So simple to say, yet so hard to believe in the moment.
Bad things happen to everyone — no one is exempt. Everyone wants to have a good day, no one wants to be sick, no wants to go through pain and suffering…but as Christians that’s our chance to magnify God’s name. When life is breezy and things couldn’t be any better, it’s easy to give glory to God — we should give glory to God — people expect us to give glory to God. But what about when life pretty much sucks? What about when the doctors say they don’t know what to do? When people tell us we’re not good enough? What about when a loved one dies? What about when we lose our job? When we overdraft our account for the 5th time this month? Or when the plans we have for ourself fall through and our backup plan just isn’t backing it up? Do we still have to give glory to God? I mean, afterall, He sure isn’t holding up His end of the deal. He gives us blessings, we give Him glory, He gives us more blessings. End of story. Happily ever after…right?
The problem? God isn’t restrained by our imagination of how things should be. God sees the whole forest when we’re too caught up in the trees. What doesn’t make sense to us, God uses to strengthen our faith and sometimes teach us valuable things.
When I was younger, the church that I went to teached and believed that if you only had enough faith, you could do and have anything you wanted. I believed that too. It was very Joel Osteen, “name it and claim it” type stuff. It took being diagnosed with Chiari and facing potential brain surgery to wake me up to the realization that that was not at all what faith was or how it works. Faith is not manipulation. Things may even get worse. Faith is believing that regardless what happens, God still reigns. God is still in control. God is still worthy. God is still loving. God never fails.
I know it’s hard. I’ve faced my fair share of troubles. Relationships change. Health changes. Financial security changes. Dreams change. People change. I change. God doesn’t change. Let’s cling to the only constant in our life. We’re not alone. God’s there. We’re there for each other. Let’s press through and not give up. Even when it doesn’t make sense. Let’s remind each other God is in control. God loves us. God hasn’t forgot us. We have hope.
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18