Hard Times Don't Necessarily Mean You Should Quit
I could blame the culture around me. I could write myself off as a lazy, unmotivated person.
I could keep telling myself God is probably (and most certainly) telling me I’m on the wrong path and it’s time to start looking for the right one.
Because dream chasing shouldn’t be hard, should it? When I find God’s will for my life in various areas, it should all slide into place easey-peasey, right? Doesn’t “experiencing hard times while pursuing God’s will” mean “you’re actually so far out of God’s will you’re in another galaxy” in at least one translation of the Bible?
No? You mean the problem lies with how I think about such things?
Actually, I know it does. It struck me the other day as I was mucking through the day’s writing session for National Novel Writing Month that I really do believe encountering hard times and rough patches is God’s way of telling me I’m way off track in regards to His will for me. And sometimes nothing but difficulties or troubles does mean I need to reassess and even change course. But there is a balance to be had, and right now I don’t have it.
I can see that lack of balance in my life when I look at David’s life in the Bible. He learned how to be a king while on the run (for his very life!) from King Saul. Then there was Job, who came to know – to really know God during a very difficult time of testing. And what about Jesus? The Son of God was right in the middle of God’s will when He experienced all the terrible hardships of the crucifixion. And none of them said, “Well, I must be out of God’s will because, darn it, this is hard!”
So why do I?
“I used to think,” writes Bob Goff in the opening quote for chapter six of Love Does, “God guided us by opening and closing doors, but now I know sometimes God wants us to kick some doors down.” And sometimes, he adds later, He wants us to sit outside of it long enough until we’re told we can come in. And re-reading that reminded me of how in James 1:3 it is written the testing of our faith produces patience.
So all that to say, I shouldn’t be so quick to see hardships as indications I’m on the wrong path because maybe I’m entering my Promised Land and simply have some giants to take out (Numbers 14: 7-9).
If you’re facing seemingly impossible odds in your life, I recommend you listen to this teaching – Defy the Odds – from the associate pastor at my church. As he points out, we serve a God who delights in defying seemingly impossible odds. Nothing is too big or too small for Him.
*Photo Credit: Rosina © 2006 (Flickr via Creative Commons)