The Need to Stay Close to Jesus, Even When Things are Tough

So in the midst of me helping lead an online Bible study tonight, a series of events and thoughts happened that made me realize that I’m in quite a bind and won’t be out of it for the next while. And this really, really upset and worried me in a deep way. But I decided that staying close to Jesus and not becoming overwhelmed with sorrow was important, and here’s why.

Now first, let me say this: if you’ve been in situations where you’ve been overwhelmed or overtaken with sorrow, you are not weak. I am not and would never say such a thing about you. I’m merely saying, this is what I personally found helpful and what I think may be helpful for you or anyone else in those types of situations in the future.

Middle of the Bible study, I take a break to pace back and forth and try to work out how to get out of this bind while everyone else keeps discussing the Scriptures and going through them on Tinychat. And I can’t figure out how to get out. And I don’t want to tell my family members because I don’t want to worry them. So I’m stuck. And the last thing on my mind at that point is going back to the Bible study. But I did. Because I felt it was important to stick close to God, to keep worshiping God in the midst of my hardship. To glorify God in the midst of my hardship. And honestly? I thought it out logically: the sheer weight of Jesus’s promises to me, of the Father’s promises to me, of what He’s already given to me, made my hardships seem light in comparison. And regardless of promises, the fact that I had Jesus alone made everything better.

Brothers, sisters, in the times of hardship, that’s when it’s most important that we run to God. It may be against our nature to run to an invisible, immaterial God that isn’t physically there with us, that’s physically separated from us at the moment. That’s what it’s like for me. But God is the only one who can fully, 100% securely see us through our troubles in the way we need to be seen through them. And God is willing to take our tears, our angst, our anxieties and worries and fears. Read 1 Peter 5:7: “casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” That’s the Word of God. He’s willing to take everything we can take to Him, and saying “I’m here. I love you. Trust me. I will rescue and redeem, even if it doesn’t feel like that’s what I’m doing when I’m doing it.”

And brothers and sisters, how lovely is it for us to glorify God in the midst of our suffering? For us to worship God and say that He’s good in the midst of it all? Now I’ll qualify this. I was able to easily do this because my trouble was light. This may be difficult and unbearable for those with more deep troubles. How could I ask someone to glorify God when his wife has been raped and murdered by a serial killer? How can I ask someone to glorify God when his child’s been killed by a drunk driver? I would say that I think it’s important for us to, in the midst of our pain and our anguish and our suffering (which we are absolutely entitled to), worship and praise God for being good in spite of it all. Because He is good in spite of it all. God was good even in the midst of Job’s sufferings. God was good in the midst of David’s crying out to God in the Psalms. God was good in the midst of Paul’s sufferings, and Jesus’s sufferings. And I will admit, I haven’t experienced deep hardship the way some of you have. But know that God is still good. And God is still with you, and there for you, and will get you through your pain and rescue and redeem you and your hardships.

I hope I’ve made sense in this post. Grace and peace, siblings and friends.

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