There's a theology out there that says anything difficult must not be of God. Trials, hardships, persecution: you must be out of God's will. And, we know His will because the doors will all swing wide open and nothing will stand in our way.
Um, that theology is wrong.
And whoever created that theology never knew the Apostle Paul, that's for sure. Or maybe King David. Reading through the Word of God will reveal that living for God will indeed bring hardships. "Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution." (2 Timothy 3:12) Trials exist because sin exists. And, not only that, but our sovereign God uses these trials for our good! We just cannot escape difficult things...as much as we want to, or believe a theology that says otherwise.
Even though I know what the Bible says, when trouble comes my way I want to whine about it, question why it's happening, over-analyze the cause and possible solutions. Surely, I'm not the only one like this?
The most wonderful time of the (Christian) year is coming upon us as Lent begins tomorrow. This season is a time of preparation before the celebration of Jesus' powerful work on the Cross. It's an opportunity for Christians to remember. And, remembering is one of the most helpful things we can do when we face trouble.
When someone at work is causing great strife for you...
When a friend hurts your feelings with their words or actions...
When there is turmoil in the church body...
Remember. Remember that the divine power of Jesus Christ has been given to us to fight all sins. Remember that we can cry out to the Lord anytime and He will hear us. Remember that God is faithful when we are faithless. Remember that God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power and love and a sound mind. Remember to count it all joy knowing that our faith is being tested and made strong.
There are so many things to remember when we face trials of every kind.
As we prepare our hearts over the next month and a half to remember Jesus' perfect sacrifice on the Cross and His victory over death, I'd like you to consider giving some things up during Lent. If you want to give up chocolate or pop or social media, great. But, I would also suggest giving up the following things too because when we focus on the following things, we are powerless. We are forgetting where our true power comes from and we are moving away from Christ, rather than remembering Him and drawing closer. Give up:
It may have become quite a habit, even a lifestyle, to practice these things. So, each day, maybe moment by moment, let's press forward in our walk with Jesus and give these things up.