Have difficulties come knocking at your door lately?
No matter how hard I try to avoid it, hardship always seems to find a way to rear its ugly head at the most unfortunate times.
Truth is hardship can seldom be avoided; it is a part of this package called “life on Earth”. Jesus warned us about this, In this world you will have trouble. (John 16:33a, emphasis mine)
So what do you do when hardship comes your way? How do you react?
My natural reaction is to panic. Scenarios run through my mind, one worse than the other, piling up so quickly I feel am about to be crushed with worry and anxiety. The future seems dark and hopeless. Fear and depression begin to take over.
But out in the distance, at the farthest crevices of my mind, I see a tiny light – one that shines brighter and stronger the closer I run to it.
It is the light of past experiences, memories of God’s deliverance and intervention during times of trouble.
Asaph expressed this so well in Psalm 77. He had called out to the Lord during a difficult time, but he felt as if God wasn’t listening, as if He had forgotten him.
7Has the Lord rejected me forever?
Will he never again be kind to me?
8Is his unfailing love gone forever?
Have his promises permanently failed?
9Has God forgotten to be gracious?
Has he slammed the door on his compassion?
Perhaps you’ve felt like Asaph, too, wondering if God has forgotten you, if He even hears your prayers.
Trouble has a way to make us feel this way.
You might enjoy a close relationship with Jesus, so close you call Him Friend. And suddenly, wham! trouble whacks you so hard you can’t even tell what hit you nor where the blow came from. Dizzy with pain and confusion, you wonder, where is God in all of this, cause He feels nothing but far. And what are you supposed to do?
Asaph knew the answer: You remember.
Psalm 77:11, But then I recall all you have done, O LORD; I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago.
The other night, on my way to Small Group, I pondered these things. Many friends at my group are facing incredible hardship. I felt overwhelmed by their troubles and by some of my own.
Jesus! I cried. And then I remembered.
I remembered His love and His faithfulness, His might and the miracles I’ve witnessed before. I remembered His words: Be still. Take heart. I have overcome the world.
That evening, during Small Group, I felt that we needed to focus on God’s goodness. We needed to remember. I asked the ladies to share something they were grateful for. And as we did this, peace began to settle in, comforting us like a sweet embrace from above.
When my turn to share came, I said, “I’m grateful for past experiences, because they remind me that even when circumstances seem hopeless, God will always come through – somehow.”
Have difficulties come knocking at your door lately? Please remember this: God has not forgotten you. And when you call out for help, He will deliver you. His arm is mighty to save. His Holy Spirit will guide and comfort you. His love will see you through.
I pray you will never forget this, but that instead, you will always strive to remember.