Responding to Tough Times
by Charles Stanley
Read | Proverbs 3:5-6
Tough times have a way of separating the “wheat” from the “chaff.” That is, when two people face similar dilemmas, one grows closer to God, bears spiritual fruit, and becomes more peaceful. The other, meanwhile, becomes anxious, bitter in spirit, and full of secret doubts about the Lord’s faithfulness. The difference has to do with how each one responds to hardship.
We all know that hardship is part of life. Becoming a Christian does not change that fact (John 16:33). What shifts is our understanding of God’s sovereignty—nothing touches our lives unless He permits it. The Lord allowed a murderous king to pursue David for years (1 Sam. 23). But the fugitive responded to adversity with faith and called God his stronghold and refuge (Ps. 59:16).
We are confronted with challenges for many reasons. God intends for them to grow our faith, change our perspective, or deepen our compassion. Sometimes believers reach heaven before they understand why they’ve had to endure suffering. But whatever the trial or God’s intention for it, He is available to help us in our affliction (Ps. 46:1). We can turn toward Him for comfort, guidance, and support. Or we can get angry and resentful that we are not being rescued from our shadowy valley (See Ps. 23:4).
When affliction strips away every crutch, one has only the Lord to depend upon. Can you think of a better position to find yourself in than to be undergirded by our faithful and sovereign God? Though some people are destroyed by that kind of situation, others are built into stalwart believers.
Edited by nella - Aug 30 2010 at 12:33pm