I spent a weekend recently with friends at a cabin up in the snowy mountains near where I live. It was a good time of rest, relaxation and community. But not trouble-free.
This realization came to my mind even more when some of us were sitting around going through “TableTopics” cards together. One that stood out to me was this: “Would you prefer money for a housekeeper, cook, gardener, or personal secretary?”
Our ensuing conversation about this question, in addition to some of the hard issues our group had faced that weekend, got me thinking; An easy life – is this really what God promises us in this world?
I would have to say no. And I can think of some verses from the Bible to back this up:
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34
”God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1
All these verses tell us that trouble and hardship are coming. You see, God never promises that they won’t come but rather when they do come, He will be with us in the midst of them.
Why then do we seem to think that we should, or that we deserve, to have an easy and trouble-free life? I know I am guilty of this–usually frustrated or upset or surprised when trials come into my life rather than seeing them as part of living as a broken person in a fallen world.
One promise from God I found in Romans 8:35-39 gave me a slightly different take on this issue:
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[j]
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[k] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
So, yes, we will have troubles but if we put our hope and faith in Christ then these won’t be able to overcome what truly matters in our lives; that God loves us and desires to be in relationship with us, walking with us through the inevitable pain of life.
I’ve read this passage about being more than conquerors before but it never hit me quite in the same way about how the one thing that can get us through all our troubles in one piece is the love of Christ Jesus! It is not necessarily the help and understanding of our loved ones or the obliteration of any hardship we might face, which are both things I often lean on and long for in my life.
Maybe it all comes back around to a quote I often recite to give myself perspective: “God is the one and only Constant in my life.” He is constant in the good times and the hard ones, constant in my joys and my trials, constant in the ups and the downs of life, constant in my belief and my unbelief. And what a comfort that is to me!