God Promises to Get Us Through the Tough Times
I would imagine that each of us knows where we were and what we were doing when we first heard that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, What followed would shake all of us to the core and cause us to wonder if life would ever be the same.
Over time, we managed to get back to a fairly regular routine, and today it’s seems almost impossible to believe that we are marking the 20th anniversary of that fateful day.
There have been far too many tragedies since 9/11 — too many to count — and it is unwise to spend too much time reflecting on them, lest we fall into a state of hopeless depression. At the same time, it would be foolish for us to ignore these calamities and overlook the lessons that can be learned from them.
So what can we do when tragedy strikes? How can we respond when our lives are turned upside down? Well, there are plenty of encouraging passages from Scripture, including many from the Old Testament. For example, Psalm 27:1 reminds us that “The Lord is [our] light and [our] salvation— whom shall [we] fear? The Lord is the stronghold of [our] life — of whom shall [we] be afraid?” Indeed, we can take consolation in the fact that whatever we face in life, the Lord will always be with us to lift us up and guide us.
A passage from Isaiah affirms Psalm 27:1 and takes it one step further with this stirring image: “For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, ‘Do not fear; I will help you.’” We may not feel Him reaching for our right hand, but we know that he is there to rescue us from the evil that surrounds us.
In the New Testament Book of James (1:2-4), we get a deeper glimpse into why it is we suffer and what the outcome can be with this passage: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
This passage can be troubling and very difficult to accept, but because it is the Divine Word of God, it is worth probing. We know that everyone faces trials and tribulations, right? Some face more than others, but none of us is free from suffering. So what do we do with that? Well, the passage from James suggests that we essentially “roll with it.” In other words, stay strong, work through it, and see what happens on the other side where we become “more complete, not lacking anything.” This is another way of saying that building strength through one trial better equips us for the next trial.
Finally, it’s that familiar passage from Proverbs 3:5-6 that encourages us to “Trust in the Lord with all [our] heart and lean not on [our] own understanding; in all [our] ways submit to him, and he will make [our] paths straight.”
Stay strong, persevere, and God will deliver us. That’s a guarantee that we can count on because we know that God always keeps His promises.
Until We Meet Again, Be Blessed! – Pastor John