Bella Vista Church of Christ
Help For Troubled Times
Hurt! We’ve all been there, and will be there again; this is the way life comes to us.
Jacob was his mother’s favorite, but he found himself working as a servant in Laban’s house.
Joseph’s colored coat status gave way to a jail sentence in Egypt.
Moses, the Prince in a palace, became Moses, the shepherd in the wilderness.
Paul experienced the fall from his being a “Hebrew of Hebrews” with a Roman citizenship to a damp, dark, prison cell.
There comes a time when all of us will have to surrender our dreams to God and let Him deal with our current situation. Paul addresses such hard times in Second Corinthians 4.8: "We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair, persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed." When tough times come, God can and will restore and establish us again! So then, the question becomes; what should our attitude be so that God can work His will and way in us?
Admit where we are and what is happening to us. We tend to deny our condition or predicament, not wanting to accept the reality of the situation before us. Sticking our head in the sand does nothing to ease the hurt or change our situation. The journey to help and healing must start with acceptance of what is happening to us, around us.
When we collide with life’s unfairness, we always respond with… “Why me, Lord?” “Why now?” WHY? Been there? Of course, we all have. Instead of trying to bargain with God, make a deal with Him, why not surrender? Why not ask, “Lord, what do You want me to learn from this situation?” “How can I use this experience in service to You and others?” “How can I glorify You in this pain?” Don’t you know that years later Moses was glad for his sheepherding experiences in the Sinai Wilderness as he led, not sheep, but God’s people? You see, God can use our weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and difficulties if we will surrender them to Him.
Jacob and Paul had good reason to regret their past. Jacob had been a cheat and deceiver, Paul persecuted the early church; but God had a future for them in His kingdom, evidenced by Him giving them new names. It’s true; God is ready to take our brokenness: give us a new name, a fresh start and new beginning; but we must, like Jacob and Paul, forget the past. As long as we cling to the past, we will be unable to take hold of the future God has in mind for us.
Rest on our faith in Him
Reality does indeed test our faith. When life tumbles in and broken moments come, we must not forget Paul’s statement in Romans eight: “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”Listen to Paul as he concludes his thoughts in Second Corinthians chapter two: "Do not lose heart then. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal" (2 Corinthians 4.16-18).
You see, we are like a loaf of French bread. If you poured hot butter over the loaf, it would simply run off. But if the bread is broken, the butter is absorbed into the bread. God speaks to us, remolds, refines, and remakes us through His Word, and our life experience. And sometimes we must be broken so that we allow His Word and His divine providence to penetrate our heart bringing us to a more intimate relationship with Him. Indeed, the traumas of life can alienate us or bring us closer to Him and one another; the choice is ours.