I have experienced and walked with people who have faced hardship and trials. Those times are never easy. It seems lately that I have heard of more people who have had to deal with cancer of some kind or another. There is no news more troubling than when the doctor tells you that you have cancer. I don’t care if it is treatable or not the diagnosis conjures up the worst for our imaginations.
But hard times aren’t always about sickness. Loss of jobs, rebellious children, troubled marriages, overwhelming debt; contentious bosses or employees are all situations where stress can eat away at the joy of life. Sometimes giving up or running away seems like the only way to alleviate the pain. People run away differently. Some actually leave, others use drugs or alcohol, and some just withdraw, use sarcasm, and push people away. They are mechanisms to cope with their sorrow and it only leads to more destructive behavior.
I was reading the book of Habakkuk. It’s one of the Minor Prophets in the Old Testament. Habakkuk looks around and sees the sin that his fellow Israelites have fallen into and asks God how long he was going to have to endure the lawlessness. God tells Habakkuk not long; the He would judge them by sending the ruthless Chaldeans to take them into captivity. God used a pagan nation to bring judgment on His people, and He does so to bring His people back to Himself. It was for their salvation.
The Israelites and Habakkuk were going to be enduring some difficult times. Not all of the hardships that we face are due to our sin, though some may be. But what we can learn from Habakkuk is that our attitude will determine how we make it through. We can’t understand the whys of our pain and suffering. Most of us will have to wait until the Lord returns to find that out. What we do know that God works all things for good to those who love and trust Him.
In the midst of Habakkuk’s trials he writes these words, “Yet I will exult in the Lord, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength, and He has made my feet like hinds’ feet, and makes me walk on my high places.”
When we grasp the big picture of God’s plan we come to understand that His mercy and compassion are lavished on those who walk through pain and suffering, and He calls believers to walk through the dark times with our friends. I have never relished the hard times that I have gone through, but there is one thing that I have learned. That there is no problem that is bigger or greater then my God and I will exult in Him and He will set my feet on solid ground. I’m just saying…….