I don’t think I know anyone who enjoys going through hard times. I am not even sure hard times are meant to be enjoyable. One thing that I am learning is that they are undoubtedly intended to come. From a spiritual standpoint, hard times are also known as tribulations and to any average believer, this word is usually referred to the hard times of the last days. However, most of us are familiar with this passage of scripture:
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
I have spoken on this exact scripture in the past. I talked about how we will all experience these hard times but believers should have joy in knowing that the same Jesus who died and rose again is living inside of you. When He affirms here that He has overcome the world, He is telling you that if He lives inside of you, you too shall overcome your trial or hard time. This is such a wonderful message, but there is more to it than just that. You see we love to hold on to the good things that God has promised. If you take a closer look you will see that there are more promises for you in this passage of scripture than just overcoming your trials and tribulations. Jesus has also promised you that you will have tribulation. Let’s read this again: “In the world ye shall have tribulation:” This one statement by itself is a promise to you. You are probably thinking why on earth would I want to hold on to a promise like that?
The Struggle Is Real
This past week has been an unusually stressful one for me. I tend to already have enough stress around this time of year, being that it is tax season. The other morning I woke up to a problem that had the potential to make life extremely difficult for me. I went to turn on my computer to start my shift and it would not boot. We had a power outage that surged multiple times the night before and that is the only thing that I can think caused this problem. I work from home and without a computer, that is not possible. As you can imagine when something goes wrong, everything goes wrong with it. One small problem has the ability to snowball into multiple problems. No computer equals no work which turns into more debt and with taxes being due this time of year, an increase of stress is sure to follow.
The computer not booting up and the taxes being due is enough to stress me out and cause panic, but there were more problems that inherently came with this. All of my photos from the last 15 years were stored on this computer along with all of my personal files and documents. After several hours of trying to fix the computer, my only option was to wipe it clean and start new. Even with that being my last resort, my first few attempts to wipe it were unsuccessful.
Today I am writing this article from that same computer I just spoke about. I was able to restore the computer back to its original settings but I did lose all of the files and photographs that were stored on it. As I think back about how I felt and how I handled the situation that was before me I am beginning to see how God has been at work in my life. I was not happy about everything that was going on and I certainly was not full of joy knowing that I was about to lose 15 years worth of pictures, but not once did I do what I would have expected myself to do. I didn’t cry, scream, speak ill, nor feel defeated. Through the midst of what was happening, I was still able to write my 365ofthanks daily social media post on what I was thankful for that day. You see while this may not mean a whole lot to anyone else, I know how I used to handle situations like this. I know how poorly I took on trials and how defeated I became during my hard times. A tribulation is not something that I have always handled well.
Today I am reflecting on my emotions and my actions that followed and I am just in awe when I realize how much better my relationship with God is today than it has ever been before. I cannot explain how I was able to find peace and feel comfort even in the midst of everything that was going on. God’s Word gives me every explanation I need.
God’s Ways Are Not Our Ways
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
The Bible tells me exactly what was going on during this trial. The Peace of Christ Jesus, who lives inside of me, had fallen upon me and my mind cannot understand it. The normal reactions to things like this are to get upset and lose control but somehow this peace had rested upon my shoulders and my Bible tells me that this is God at work in my life.
Another scripture that comes to mind.
Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
I cannot even rationally describe how I was able to keep calm and even joke through what was going on. I can clearly see that God is able to do beyond what my brain can comprehend and beyond what I could even begin to ask of Him. While I was in the middle of this hard time, a friend wrote me and all he said was “All Things…” I assumed he was referring to Romans 8:28 which says:
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
I thought to myself “what good could come from this?” I began to try and comprehend anything good that God could come up with from this situation and at the time I couldn’t think of anything. God is so awesome at how He works. I can tell you that the feeling I have today is worth 15 years of pictures. It is assurance to myself that I’m not just breathing hot air when I say my relationship with Him is better. It truly is.
Something tells me that there are probably more trials to come my way but God has clearly shown me that my relationship with Him is strong enough that no matter what it is that comes my way, He is going to be right there with me and He is able to give me a peace that I will never be able to understand. This is what makes me unafraid of the promise that tribulations will come.