Tuesday, February 28, 2023
No matter the age, life hands out its fair share of difficulties. For example, my grandmother told me I had to start buying my own shoes in high school because my big feet cost her too much money. I dropped $80 on basketball shoes freshman year, but my size 13 kicks were only the start of harder times. Junior year, I drove 45 miles and spent $150 on a pair of size 15 Barry Sanders Nike Air Zoom Turf Trainers. To make matters worse, that same year, I had to start the football season wearing black Nike canvas shoes because Coach had to special order my cleats.
I know shoe problems fail in comparison to so many other issues, but I wanted to start with something more lighthearted. (But trust me, winning in the shoe game is difficult, especially since I now wear a size 17.)
My teenage years weren’t the best, but it’s hard to complain when my most difficult moments were intertwined with someone else’s fight. My mother suffered as she held onto her faith. She was as physically and mentally broken as anyone I had ever seen, her body betraying any hope she may have had. I’ll never forget the two calls we received during the night and then rushing to the hospital to say goodbye. Although I was prepared, it’s an anticipation I wished to avoid. It was hard.
While it's easy to get caught up in our own difficulties, we are reminded of the countless Christ-followers who also suffered.
35 … But others were tortured, refusing to turn from God in order to be set free. They placed their hope in a better life after the resurrection. 36 Some were jeered at, and their backs were cut open with whips. Others were chained in prisons. 37 Some died by stoning, some were sawed in half, and others were killed with the sword. Some went about wearing skins of sheep and goats, destitute and oppressed and mistreated.
Sometimes it’s hard because we lose loved ones—the good ones in this world. And yet, the Bible speaks to that as well.
They were too good for this world, wandering over deserts and mountains, hiding in caves and holes in the ground.
God never said that being a Christian is without difficulties. It is our faith in God that gives us hope in the midst of our difficulties and reminds us of our bottom line: God will make right what is not all right.
Hardships come with life, often through sickness, circumstances, or human choice. But this doesn’t mean you should lose hope. God does not want those hardships to hold you captive and make you a victim. He wants you to learn that you can use all of them to grow in faith and become stronger and closer to him.
If Christ is our firm foundation, we enter the fray not alone, but with the armor of God and him alongside us (Ephesians 6:13-17, Joshua 1:9). God can redeem each of these situations if you put your faith in the right place—him. That’s his promise.
How do you handle life’s difficulties? Do you believe God can redeem your challenging situations?
Text “Promises” to 419-419-0707 to receive a one-time resource on the promises of God. Discover God’s promises for your purpose by attending GrowthTrack.
Lord, I know in my heart that you don’t intend for life to be so difficult, but you knew it would be, which is why you offered freedom for everyone who follows Jesus. Thank you for loving me enough to show I matter in the past, present, and future. Help me show your truth to everyone I come across because we all belong to you. Amen.
Series Theme Verse:
2 Peter 1:4
And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.