Way back in 1970 Lynn Anderson made famous a song by Joe South called I NEVER PROMISED YOU A ROSE GARDEN. When I was preparing to write this column God brought this song to my attention, and I can see why. When I hear people talk, sometimes I can hear God humming that tune in the back of his head. You see God never promised us life in this world would be easy. I fear pop culture has led us to believe otherwise. We are bombarded daily by commercial after commercial that life should be good, after all we deserve it ! Our own government trots out programs to provide for this, and provide for that. Everywhere around us are voices telling us that life should be easy, and effortless !
But, what does God tell us through his word ? Take JOB 14: 1 “We are all born weak and helpless. All lead the same short, troubled life.” This translation comes from the GOOD NEWS BIBLE. I chose it because says very clearly, in today’s language that life was always going to have its struggles. The book of Job is one of the best books of the Bible to illustrate this. As you probably remember Job was a faithful servant of God. Yet he was beset with problem after problem. Read his full story sometime. I guarantee you Job’s case would drive a modern day social worker out of the business for good.
So all is lost ? We should just give up ? Not hardly ! Because even though God did not promise us that life in this world would be easy, he did make us some very important promises. Consider with me the words of John 16:33 “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (KJV) In this verse scripture gives us both points I want to make, first that life in this mortal world was always going to have its difficulties, second that God will be there to see us through our troubles. In fact when we travel through the “storms of life” with God we often exit them better and stronger than ever before ! We see this aspect clearly in Romans 5:3 “ We also boast of our troubles, because we know trouble produces endurance.” (GNB) Let’s face it we live in an imperfect world. Stuff is going to happen. Can we not however find comfort in the idea that each trial we go through, equips us to better handle the trials that lay in the future ? I believe we can !
When we are in the midst of a situation it can seem like things will go on as they are forever. Fortunately this is never the case. One of the most important things to remember when our life is getting difficult is to remember how temporary our struggles are. One of the greatest challenges of surviving our struggles is reminding ourselves that we can and will feel happy again. We find this in JOB 11:16 “ For thou shalt forget thy misery: Thou shalt remember it as waters washed away.” (ASV) Isn’t that a wonderful thought ! Can you imagine sitting next to a river, the soft sound of the bubbling water washing away every care you have in the world. This is what God has promised. That you will journey through problems brought on by this world. You can and will reach a place of peace !
Our biggest mistake would be in not turning to God when times get tough. Our heavenly father is the one who will guide us and give us the comfort that we need. Look at JOB 29:25 “ I took charge and made the decisions; I led them as a King leads his troops, and gave them comfort in their despair. “ (GNB) When life gets hard it can be as if we are driving through a forest, in the dark of night with no headlights.
Aren’t you glad we have someone to guide us when things are so bad we can’t see ? I know that I am !
So when life gets tough remind yourself of the things we talked about. Remind yourself that the most together looking person in the world goes through hard times. Remind yourself that this is just a temporary part of the journey we call life. Most importantly of all remind yourself that you have God on your side. That he will see you through, and that you will be stronger for it ?