by Ryan Wheeler
Do you ever have those days when everything seems stacked against you? Have you ever had a week when trials and tests piled up continuously? Have you ever had a year that becomes marked in your memory as a "rough time?" Are you experiencing some of these difficulties now?
All of us go through hardship. Yours may seem lighter or heavier than mine, but it is hardship nonetheless. How should the redeemed of God handle hardship?
Psalm 13 gives some advice.
In the first 4 verses, David lays out his complaint to God. He is in constant sorrow (vs. 2) and feels as though he may die (vs. 3). Whatever David is going through, it is trying to consume him. It is attempting to dominate his life. I'm sure you know the feeling.
How does he respond in the end? He responds with three willful decisions:
1. To Trust
But I have trusted in your steadfast love; (vs. 5a)
This involves resting in the fact that you are loved by a righteous God. He will do what is best for you at all times. Just because it is hard doesn't mean it is bad.
2. To Rejoice
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. (vs. 5b)
This is a decision to be happy, not because things are going your way, but because God is good. If the only thing He ever did for you was save you from Hell, it would be worth an eternity of rejoicing! That is a perspective check!
3. To Sing
I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me. (vs. 6)
It doesn't matter if you are a good singer or not. To sing praise to the Lord in good times and bad is a mark of someone who really knows Him. Job lifted up his voice in worship at the worst moment of his life (Job 1:20-21). So far, my hardships cannot really compare to what he went through.
So how are you handling the hardship of your life? Maybe its time to allow God to turn your fear into trust, your stress into joy and your complaints into singing!
Milton Hubbard has served as Pastor of Living Word Assembly since 1977
Ryan Wheeler serves as Associate Pastor at Living Word Assembly.