God Is There, Even During the Bad Times

One recent Sunday afternoon, a young woman made the personal decision to join our church. She testified before a packed congregation and relayed her perilous journey through substance abuse, a chaotic family life and many missteps. She finished by announcing that she now accepted Christ as her Lord and Savior and wanted to be baptized. When asked by the preacher why she was making this decision, she replied she was tired of struggling and wanted all her problems to go away. The pastor quickly corrected her. Pledging your life to Christ and baptism do not supernaturally eradicate your problems. Unfortunately, too many Christians believe this and end up struggling in their faith.

Living a Christian life doesn’t spare you from LIFE; it guides you through those low points and stabilizes you during the highs. The reason one should dedicate oneself to Christ is simply because one loves Him. This is not a natural, i.e. worldly, relationship where there is give and take. You do for me and I do for you. If you don’t do for me then I walk away. Our spiritual relationship with Christ is one of constant giving and unconditional love. David, during the depths of his despair, wrote beautiful songs of praise. The ever-faithful Job experienced hardships that are almost too incredible to imagine yet he never doubted God. Jesus, Himself, was shunned, betrayed, and endured a horrific death all to overcome evil so that we could have everlasting life.

Bad things happen. Bad things happen to Christians. That fact that the Lord does not prevent bad things from occurring does not mean He is not present. The fact that one makes it through difficult circumstances proves His love is at work. When facing a hardship or hardship after hardship, don’t be so quick to believe the Lord has turned away. Use that time to draw yourself closer to Him so you will have the foundation needed to not just face but overcome the trial.

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