As I read and watch the nightly news one thing becomes more and more evident- life is hard. It really does appear that our world is on an ugly trajectory and that the troubles we encounter will only increase as we rocket toward the end of days.
It is the desire of the natural man to avoid trouble but trouble finds us everywhere we go. It is curious to me as to why we are surprised when we encounter various trials of every kind (James 1:2). Christians are as susceptible as unbelievers to the discouragement and disillusion that comes with difficulties, and it does seem that Christians can be even more discouraged than their non-Christian counterparts.
Frequently, the goal in hard times is to simply find relief from the troubles and in doing so, a person tends to narrow their focus to see only the problem and how it affects them.
This is both a joy and hope stealer because the focus is in the wrong place! Sufferers swiftly find themselves seeking escape and wisdom from sources other than godly ones. The pleas become desperate and soon they find themselves telling God how the problems should be solved and what decisions need to be made.
For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. 1 Corinthians 2:10-11 (NASB)
A wise counselor will help the counselee to see problems as friends rather then enemies. The world sees problems as things to be avoided or medicated or ignored but Scripture tells us that our difficult times are times of growth and change. Our trials are intended to bring about good things in us (James 1:2-4) and God does not send them or allow them to hurt or harm us. He allows them to perfect us and to give us occasion to glorify Him through a right and biblical response.
Yes, this is difficult in the beginning but over time and with consistent application of biblical truth you will see steady and sure progress in mind renewal and heart change. These changes within you will bring about changes in your actions, words, and overall lifestyle.
We have got to get over this idea that living here on earth is all about us! We are here to glorify God by how we live our lives, and to demonstrate the power of the living God over sin. Our life is a victorious life. Our lives are constantly on display to those in our sphere of influence and we had better determine to show them Christ is enough!