Recently we had a snowstorm, then an ice storm and then a windstorm. The branches on the trees couldn’t handle the extra weight and many limbs broke and crashed to the ground in our neighborhood park. Along the pond Buddy had to carefully navigate between the wall supporting the upper parkland and the limbs of a broken tree. It wasn’t easy for a little dog.
The trees broke because their limbs were already carrying a heavy load and couldn’t bend to survive the extra force of the strong winds. Sometimes life feels like that: We already feel burdened, trying our best to navigate the normal, everyday obstacles of life and then the strong winds of adversity blow against us and we feel like we’re about to break.
And we cannot see where the path ahead of us is leading and if more obstacles await, ready to burden us further.
We feel like a once-strong tree that is about to break under the weight.
And we wonder where God is.
Jesus never promised us an easy path. In fact, He pretty much promised the opposite:
“In the world you have tribulation…” John 16:33
And Apostle Paul, after being stoned in Lystra, advised the disciples in Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, “Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.”–Acts 14:22
“Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”–Apostle Paul, 2 Timothy 3:11
Not very encouraging when you’re hurting.
God loved Job yet, when Satan stood before God and accused Job of loving God only because he lived a protected and prosperous life, God permitted Satan to put Job through a series of tests, killing his children, his servants, his livestock, his finances, and destroying even his health. His marriage went to pot too. He sat on a pile of ashes, scraping his painful boils with a potshard in great misery and his wife asked him to curse God and die. Then his supposed friends said he must be suffering because he is an evil man and needed to repent. Couldn’t get much worse than that.
Understandably, Job complained to God. God responded, in summary: I’m God the Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth. What right do you, a puny mortal, have to complain to me?
One of my favorite verses in Scripture, believe it or not, especially when I am suffering, is in Job:
“Though He (God) slay me, I will hope in Him.”–Job 13:15
Job never gave up on God’s goodness, and He rewarded his faithfulness with much more than he had previously lost.
I believe the answer is in the book of Hebrews:
“Let us run with ENDURANCE the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the JOY SET BEFORE HIM endured the cross…” Hebrews 12:1-2, emphasis mine
Jesus looked past the agony of the Cross to the joy ahead: the many millions who would have their sins paid by His suffering and death so that they could enter into a relationship with Him, the Father and the Holy Spirit.
We cannot see what lies beyond the bend in our life’s path, perhaps more obstacles and pain await. But God promises that, if we keep our eyes on Jesus, and keep walking the path of life with Him, there are far better days ahead.
“The night is almost gone, and the day is near.”–Romans 13:12, Apostle Paul
“The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, That shines brighter and brighter until the full day.”–Proverbs 4:18, King Solomon
“”Therefore we do not lose heart,…For momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things that are seen, but at the things which are not seen…”2 Corinthians 4:16-18, Apostle Paul
The greatest gift God gives us is hope. Because a wonderful future awaits us all who trust in Christ.
“And God will wipe every tear from their eyes.”–Revelation 7:17, Apostle John
If we can just keep from breaking.
“God is our refuse and strength, A very present help in trouble…the God of Jacob is our stronghold.”–Psalm 46:1,7
If you’re suffering, please pray and reach out to godly friends who can encourage you.
And if you’re not suffering at this time, please encourage or help a friend who is.
God bless from Dawn and Buddy
Life is hard. But it’s doubly hard without Jesus. He gives hope and strength in times of need. This world is temporary and will pass away and so will all of your problems and tribulations one day.
Jesus offers you a wonderful future because He loves you.
Everyone is born separated from God because we sin. Not always intentionally, but God hates sin. The only entrance ticket He accepts into Heaven is perfection. But He also loves us and wants to be in relationship with us, so He punished Jesus for our sins. Jesus lived a perfect life, suffered and died on the Cross for all of us. After that, He was raised from the dead, proving He was God and that His sin offering was accepted by the Father. If you want to enter into relationship with Him, please pray the below prayer:
Dear Father, I admit that I’ve said, thought and done things that displease you. I believe that Jesus is God who died for my sins on the Cross and was raised from the dead to give me eternal life. I ask you to forgive me. I invite the Holy Spirit into my life to lead me and guide me into the paths of righteousness. I thank you for wanting to be my friend, my great Shepherd and my Lord for now and forevermore. In Jesus’ name, Amen
“Now to Him Who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy.”–Jude verse 24
Please find a Bible-based church and obtain a good Bible. You cannot stand alone, particularly when the winds of adversity blow. There is usually a Christian radio station and/or bookstore in your area where they can give you some guidance in the right direction if you don’t have a church nearby or know a Christian who can assist.
And being a Christian isn’t about being perfect: nobody is, only God. Jesus already lived the perfect life for you. It’s about having a relationship with God through Christ. And having spiritual life, empowered by the Holy Spirit. It’s not about working to meet a high standard to please God: It’s about loving God because He loves you.
And when you love someone, it’s natural to want to please them.