How to Remain Steadfast in the Face of Hard Times
- Thursday, December 30, 2010
Some of the most vivid memories I have from my childhood are from long road trips in the car. Back when I was growing up, we didn't have DVD players in the back to keep us quiet. So on those long trips, there was always one question I would ask over and over: "Are we there yet?"
Now that I've raised kids, I understand the plight of my parents on road trips. But in a way, you and I can ask that question all the time, can't we? We may not vocalize it, but when you and I go through troubles in this life… and we sense that longing for heaven deep down… we quietly ask, "Are we there yet?"
The Bible is clear that God has placed in the heart of every believer an eager anticipation for our heavenly home. And he did that for a very good reason! God wants you to long for that day and to use that longing as a motivation to finish well in your short time here on earth.
I love how the apostle Paul describes these feelings of longing in Philippians 3:14:
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
The day you and I, as believers, come face to face with Jesus in heaven will be glorious. There's great hope in what's to come if you know Jesus personally. In fact, we are to pray for his coming every day and should live as though his return will come at any second.
And it's so important to remember that this life is a temporary stop. As the Scripture says, life "is… a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away."
But while you and I are here on earth, God wants us to lean into him when things get tough. The Scripture is full of exhortations for believers to remain steadfast in the face of hard times. In fact, you are even told to "Count it all joy… when you meet trials of various kinds" (James 1:2).
Even though a new year has just begun, you may be going through a difficult situation where you're asking, "Are we there yet?" Maybe you're struggling with divorce… the loss of a loved one… or perhaps you're desperate to regain control of your finances.
But it's in these difficult times that we need to cling to God and his promises. The hope that we have is that our present sufferings are temporary and, as the Scripture says, "are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us" (Romans 8:18). So whatever it is in your life that's making you long for home, it's my prayer that you will stay strong in Christ and finish well!
Do you know what the best part of those long road trips was? It's when the car would stop and my dad would turn around and say, "We're here!" And one day when you as a believer in Christ reach heaven, your heavenly Dad will look at you and say, "You're here!"
You have the wonderful hope of spending eternity with Jesus—without pain and full of joy—if you are a believer in him. So until that day comes, push forward this year in sharing him with others and following him passionately in every aspect of your life!
Publication date: December 30, 2010
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