It took me a long time to realize I had the wrong perspective on what God’s will for my life was. Somehow, as I was growing up, I came to believe that if something was hard for me; if things didn’t go as planned – that that must be a sign that it was not God’s will for my life.
I’ve since corrected that assumption.
As an adult, I’ve learned that the exact opposite is true. In fact, I think that sometimes things are the hardest when we are headed in the direction God wants for us. God says in Peter 4:12-13, “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.”
God told us that we would have troubles and trials.
In John 16:33 God tells us, “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.”
1 Peter 5:8-10 says, “Be controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.”
There are so many more verses in the Bible where God tries to prepare us for difficulties and spiritual trials. He tells us that facing tough times is pretty much a “given.” So why do we give up so easily? Why are we so easily deterred? Why do we quit when the going gets tough?
I believe that God raised us up to be warriors, not quitters. I think Satan knows that we are far too easy of a target. All it takes is some temptation, pushing of our buttons, some delayed outcomes, busyness, stress, and illness – and Satan knows he’s got us. You see, he doesn’t want us to fulfill God’s will! That would make us more powerful because we’d be growing in the Lord and thriving. God’s power would be unleashed in us! That’s the last thing Satan wants. So when things start to get extra hard….we just may be on the exact RIGHT path.
I do realize there are times where God tries to communicate that we are making poor choices in our life. There are times of correction. But I think when those times come; we’ve already been hearing God whisper (or yell, as the case may be) to our hearts for quite awhile first. The circumstances only solidify what the Holy Spirit has been trying to already tell us.
Life is hard. Oh man, is it hard! I’ve done some hard things. I can only imagine if I’d been allowed to flee and run away as I’d wanted. How I would have missed some deep blessings.
We are not runners. We are not quitters. We are warriors. And as much as we’d like to pretend that we don’t have any enemies – we have a very real, spiritual one who is out to hinder, provoke, discourage, and detour us any way he can. He’s out to make things HARD.
God tells me that my fellow brothers and sisters in the Lord are going through the same thing as I am. That encourages me. Together, we can all fight through the “hard stuff” and be determined to set out in the destination that God wants for us. Any other way is quicksand.