My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. (James 1:2-3)
Thank You For The Hard Times
Life can be a difficult journey filled with sadness, heartache, trial, and despair. Sin is the agency that has brought such misery to the world. Adam and Eve enjoyed perfect peace without disease and heartache when they were in the garden. It seems impossible to imagine a world so void of the pressures of life that everyone endures. The great consequence of sin brings death, and with death the disease of the body and the corrupt hearts of sinful men. Humanity lives under the daily burden of trouble, and there is no relief. Hard times are real times, and life is often measured by how far apart these troubled times are and to what level the soul sinks in the despair of the tragedy of life. Jesus did not come to take the troubles of the world away. He came to allow men to know how to be thankful for the hard times.
It must not be overlooked that when hard times come, Jesus experienced the same burdens. The Son of God took on human flesh, which was a remarkable change from his state of deity. Jesus had to learn to walk like all children must learn, and He grew up with toothaches, skinned knees, and the maladies of childhood. Somewhere in the thirty years of His earthly life, his adopted father, Joseph, died. This filled the heart of Jesus with great sadness. There is no doubt before Jesus began His ministry, He stood at the graves of many people and wept. As His mind grew in the knowledge of the Father’s word, He saw the misery of sin and its burden on the hearts of men. Jesus experienced hard times in His life as Satan sought to tempt Him with the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life. What made a difference in the life of Jesus was He used the hard times to draw Him closer to His heavenly Father.
If the author of the book of James is one of the half-brothers of Jesus, he would know more than most the impact of hard times in the life of Jesus. Writing to the saints scattered abroad, he begins his letter by exhorting the people of God to rejoice in their trials. James reminds the disciples when troubles of any kind come upon them; they were to consider it a time of joy. That seems counter to how most view hard times. Yet, the spirit of the Christian recognizes that while hard times are not desired, they can be fruitful for building up the godly character. Faith tested is faith triumphant. The purpose of hard times can be used to produce an enduring heart of faith in God. Facing hard times becomes bearable when the character of life is understood. The Christian knows that sin is at the heart of the world’s misery. They also know that God offered His only begotten Son as the remedy for the difficult days of life. Solomon declared in the book of Ecclesiastes that life is hard and life is never fair. The realization for the child of God is that life is short, and God is eternal.
The Lord does not look at the hard times of a man’s soul without compassion. There are many who have carried heavy burdens of sorrow in their lives. What is found in the child of God is the solace of God’s love to be thankful for the hard times to increase their strength, will, and purpose in life to serve God. Blaming the Lord for hard times is accusing the wrong person. Thanking God for the hard times is knowing the love of the Father. No one wants heartache in life, but when it comes, increasing faith and trust in God will be the eternal salve to calm the storms, ease the pain, and find joy in the place of sadness. Thank you, God, for your love. I pray dear God, when I awaken to hard times, I will harden my faith in you to allow your grace to give me peace.