AS everyone knows, life doesn’t work out the way we expect it. With some, however, it does. They go to school, graduate, find a good job and a good husband or wife, have children, have enough money, enjoy themselves and are generally spared the stresses that break up families and tear individuals apart. But, with most people, I think, we struggle.
We trust God for a good job but we can’t go far in it. We trust God for a spouse. We get one, only to find that marriage isn’t what we expected. We pray for good children. We get them but one or two turn out to be more than we can handle. We trust God with our businesses but find it is tough going. We want to move in a particular way, but we meet up with obstacles we can’t cross. We ask why, why?
Well, I don’t know why! But, I do know that we don’t have to keep struggling all the time. At some point, we must come to terms with our predicaments. And, I know a way that can help. It is Romans 15: 4: “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.”
The past was written so that we can live in the present. As we study Scriptures, understand and follow it, we learn endurance. When we face struggles that is the first thing we need to do: endure — not run from it!
The second thing we get from Scriptures is encouragement. We need it to endure. When God entrusts a disabled child in our hands, we need encouragement to undertake this responsibility. Encouragement lightens the difficulty and takes the pain out of endurance.
Through both endurance and encouragement, we find hope. That’s the big one! When we have hope all things are possible! We believe our circumstances can change or we can change so that there is resolution one way or another. When we match hope with love and faith, the possibilities are endless! We become creative solvers of problems! Our problems no longer hang over our heads like deadweights; they become opportunities for God’s redeeming power.
We find a way to get ahead in that job or get another. We make changes and see positive results in our relationships, and our marriages become exciting again. We get through to our children or find a better alternative for them. We innovate our businesses and they pick up. We close up and face up to that obstacle, and suddenly it doesn’t look so formidable as it did from afar. We adjust, amend, change, cope, conquer, build, rebuild, redirect, restore, renovate, upgrade and overcome. We live — life to the fullest!
Taking steps out of love, faith and hope is opening the way for God to act. That is applying Scripture in our lives and that really is obedience. We then see God’s hands and we see results: the circumstances change or the difficulty vanishes or becomes so integral a part of our lives that it is no longer an issue. It becomes a personal testimony of our Lord’s redeeming grace.
That was how I got through depression. I saw the promises of God in front of me and it gave me hope. I believed it and acted accordingly and day by day I got better. In my case, the circumstances didn’t change, but it didn’t matter. I overcame and am eternally grateful to our Lord for His goodness!