There are few things in this life that test our faith more than circumstances over which we have no control. They may seem harsh, unfair, and unwarranted. I am sure people in the Bible like Joseph thought it totally out of control to be betrayed by family, thrown in a pit, and sold as a slave. Or Noah, tasked with building an enormous boat, put afloat with all the animals and his immediate family in a flood of divine proportions, and starting completely over. Or Daniel, taken by the Babylonians and eventually thrown in the lion’s den. Or Job, family killed, fortune lost, and health rotting away. All could have cursed God, turned their backs on Him and lost the faith. However in all these people’s lives and countless others recorded in the Scripture, we read how these uncontrollable circumstances pushed them TOWARD God and not away. It was their choice. Every one of these people kept their eyes trained on God. A steely focus. They believed Him to be who they thought He was. They accepted that there might be a rather bad ending to their lives in this world but God goes beyond this world. They kept their faith solidly stamped on their belief that God meant what He said and He never changes.
God is love. That is truth, no matter what circumstances are hard or uncontrollable. No matter how people react or do or don’t do what we think best. No matter what…God is love. How our lives look in this world is only temporary. This life is a blink. For some reason, you may have been allowed to go through some extraordinary circumstances beyond your control. What will you choose for your beliefs? You may have a hard time adjusting to the frustrations and disappointments of how things have not turned out like you thought they would in your life. And yet…you are still here. Why? God is love. That has not changed one bit. No matter how hard or infuriating things seem in this cracked world. He. does. not. change. You can choose to believe it or reject it.
Here’s the deal… if you are a Christ-follower, when this life is done you are going to be with Jesus and none of this will matter. You will not grieve for what did not happen as you planned or wished. You will be complete and whole with Him. You will not wish for this stinking, decaying world. But until that day comes, you are here. What are you going to believe? And how are you going to live in each day because you believe that? When you go, those left behind will have the witness of your life. What will it tell? Of your undying faith in God through hard circumstances? What message will you leave by the way you live your life? I’ve known many who, like people written about in the Bible, left a message of hope that impacted so many. You’ve known some yourself. What message will you leave? What message are you leaving every day you live? What message of hope are you speaking or writing to the people connected to your life? What message of hope are you living out before the people who interact with you daily? What message of hope are you breathing to them that they will remember when they are putting one foot in front of the other to move forward in their own hard circumstances? This is your opportunity to help others even when you may feel helpless. It is all in the way you look at it. It is in what you choose. This life is quick, Friend. Believe the truth. Fight for the right things. No regrets. Only hope.
3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (Romans 5:3-4)
8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)
13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. (Romans 15:13)