The Believer and Hardships
I have been around long enough to remember the ground-breaking invention of Teflon. It is a layer of resin that is baked onto cookware to help keep food from sticking and make clean up easier for the cook and baker. Now it is not completely bullet-proof, but it has helped to shorten clean-up time.
In the early days of my walk with Jesus, I thought, because of my devotion to the Lord, my life would be like Teflon to hardship. I would often become disillusioned when difficulties and hardships would come because I believed, with Jesus in my life, and somehow life would be trial-free…like I’d receive a “get-out-of-jail-free” card, or hardship wouldn’t stick because Jesus was my Teflon.
There are a couple of responses for the believer if he or she doesn’t understand. We are not immune to hardship. Either they doubt the power of Christ and bitterness toward him develops, or the believer doubts himself with the tape playing in our minds that we are a disappointment to God and can’t measure up.
The Holy Spirit has drawn my attention to Psalm 139 and given me a new perspective on hardship. “Even if I am afraid and think to myself, ‘There is no doubt that the darkness will swallow me, the light around me will soon be turned to night’…” (vs.11; VOICE). The Psalmist is “gut-honest” with the Lord by saying that life is hard, and the path ahead looks grim. He doesn’t stop there, for he continues, “You can see in the dark, for it is not dark to your eyes. Darkness and light are the same to Your eyes.” (vs 12).
Maybe hardship is a familiar lesson or a new revelation to you; it deserves pondering either way. When we walk with the Lord, we are not immune to hardship. We are not Christians who have this layer of Teflon so no hardship can stick to us. A familiar portion of scripture is often overlooked, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death….” (Psalm 23:4; NIV), it does not say, Yea, though I circumnavigate the valley….”. As long as we live in the flesh we will see and experience hardship. The advantage of the Christian is “darkness and light are the same to your eyes.” There will be storms, but we are not alone as we walk through them, or as Psalm 23 continues, “I will fear no evil: for thou art with me…”
So, when hardships come, don’t doubt the Lord or your faith, cling to him even more and remember the rest of Psalm 23:4, “Your rod (of protection) and your staff (to guide), they comfort and console me. (AMP).
“Sometimes God calms the storm, and sometimes God calms his child in the midst of the storm.” (Anon.)
written by Major Lauren Hodgson, USA East SLD