Somehow, somewhere along the way, some people got the idea that by becoming a Christian, life would be smooth sailing. It could be because there are a lot of pastors who assert as much with great consistency. But the Bible doesn’t teach that. The Bible assures us that we will fall into various trials, and we should count it a joy, because of the maturing it brings. We see anecdotal evidence all throughout the New Testament: we see the persecuted, the prisoners, and even martyrs throughout Acts. And in our own lives, we’ve seen people of faith struggle, maybe even seen our families struggle, and we might have struggled ourselves. Modern and historical reality do not line up with this perception, but we sometimes still carry it.
We can tell that we carry it when we begin to ask certain questions. If something difficult in your life happens, you might begin to ask what you did to bring it on yourself. Why? Because you have a perception that walking with God should mean easy street. When you begin to ask God how He could allow something to happen to you, you reveal that you assumed your walk with Him should preclude you from certain hardships. And it’s not just personal; sometimes it’s external. We wonder what that person did to deserve what they’re going through, how they made their life a mess, and so on.
But here’s the reality. Life is hard sometimes, even as a Christian, and sometimes especially as a Christian. There road God calls you to walk on isn’t always straight, smooth, or easy. In fact, it’s often the opposite. Matthew 7:14 says, “For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” It’s difficult. Do you know what David called the road God brought him down in Psalm 23? The valley of the shadow of death. But David also gives us hope in that same Psalm. The same verse says, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4 ESV)
When life is difficult, don’t ask why God is doing something to you. Do ask Him how He wants you to grow through it. Don’t feel like God has abandoned you. He hasn’t! Thank Him for being there with you in the midst of it. Thank Him for carrying you.