You have probably heard yourself say at some time in your life, “that was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.” Or “that was a very difficult season (experience, situation, conversation, etc.)”
We all have hard times in our lives. Sometimes after we get through a particularly trying time, we can get discouraged about the future. Or maybe we see the changes in our world and know that life is getting more difficult for us and many others. We can begin to dread the future, thinking that the hard times that are coming will be too much for us to handle. Whether it’s something tragic or a strong temptation, we know we will face more trials in the future. We know we aren’t done. We haven’t arrived. We are still on the journey that marks the life of a follower of Christ.
But instead of becoming discouraged, we need to consider where we’ve been. There is a reason God told the Israelites to tell the story of His marvelous works in the Old Testament. We need to be reminded of what God has already brought us through in order to grow in our faith, our belief that He is still faithful to complete the work He started in us.
How do you react when you face hard times? Maybe it’s the death of a loved one or having major surgery. Maybe it’s a painful divorce or a child who walks away from the family. Maybe it’s that difficult conversation that you never wanted to have. Any of those situations can cause us to be overwhelmed.
Can you think of an instance when you were overwhelmed by life? When you said “that’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done.”? The key word in that sentence is the word done. It’s over, in the past and you made it through, even though it was hard. God was there.
He’s still there. Right beside you. Ready to take you through the next thing. Yes, there will be a “next thing” but God is already working on getting you through it even as he brings you to it. He already knows exactly how to equip you to handle anything that comes your way. The reason we dread the future is that we aren’t there yet. We can’t see the way God has planned to get us through, all we see is the difficulty and we know we can’t possibly overcome it now. But when we get to it, we’ll be able because God will take our hand and guide us through.
Isaiah 41:13 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.”
1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.