Sometimes life is just plain hard. People we love get sick. Governments do idiotic things. The news we hear is often negative. Careers don’t always work out. Kids don’t constantly express their love for their parents. Has it ever crossed your mind, “why?” Here’s a thought. Crisis and difficulty in your life have a purpose. On a practical level, James says this: James 1:2-4 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.
James is pretty clear. Trials have a purpose. They mature you. They complete you. Generally, we don’t like this. Who likes trials? But in our quieter moments, we know the truth. But consider this: “Hard times make us long for a better place.” That better place is heaven. How was Paul able to have hope in the midst of trials? He tells us in 2 Corinthians 4:18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. He knew this life wouldn’t last forever. He knew his pain was not the end of the story. If you find yourself in the middle of hardship, illness, worry, fear, or loss of any kind, take heart. My counsel is simple: Trust in Jesus our only hope of heaven. If you’ve never asked Jesus to be your Lord and Savior, now is the time. If you are a follower of Jesus already, tell him your needs and your pain…and keep your eye on the things above…heaven.