“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” (2 Corinthians 4:8–9 NIV)
When we confess our belief in Jesus as the Holy One of God, we often assume our lives will become easier. It doesn’t help that many people with good intentions teach this as biblical truth.
Certainly Jesus taught that his yoke is easy (Matthew 11:30), and the apostle Paul spoke about the Sabbath rest of God (Hebrews 4:9), but both these examples teach the need to develop a deep trust in God and not that following Jesus is easy. We’re to step into the will of God and stay there, trusting he has our best interests at heart (Jeremiah 29:11, Romans 8:28).
With God’s Spirit working in us and through us, we can get through what we’re going through. The apostle Paul says this is the very time we can learn to trust Jesus: “Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am” (Philippians 4:13 MSG).
If we want to make a significant contribution to the Kingdom of God, we cannot sidestep the difficult seasons of life. Like Paul, we can watch God keep us from being crushed when we’re under pressure, give us hope when things don’t make any sense, reveal his presence when we are rejected, and pick us back up when we’re knocked senseless to the ground (2 Corinthians 4:8–9).
Getting through what you’re going through requires a shift. Instead of asking, “Why me?” ask, “What do I do with this, God?”
Talk About It
- Why wouldn’t God take away all our problems when we commit our lives to Jesus?
- What do you think God would do if you prayed, “Lord, help my unbelief?”
- Where are you saying “Why me?” in your life? What do you think will happen if you ask instead, “What do I do with this, God?”
Jon Walker is author of Costly Grace: A Contemporary View of Bonhoeffer’s “The Cost of Discipleship” and In Visible Fellowship: A Contemporary View of Bonhoeffer's Classic Work “Life Together.”
He is managing editor of Rick Warren’s Daily Hope Devotionals.
This devotional © Copyright 2012 Jon Walker. All rights reserved. Used by permission.