By: Jon Meerdink
I think we’d all admit that as Christians in America, we’ve got it quite a bit easier than most of our brothers and sisters around the world. Other than an occasional sniping comment from someone on Twitter or an annoying article on the internet, I don’t know how much actual oppression I’ve faced for being a believer.
But that doesn’t mean it’s always easy. We’ll all face times when the going gets rough. Whether it’s outward persecution or an inward sense of exhaustion about our faith, difficult times are all but guaranteed.
Dealing with difficulty doesn’t have to be some kind of mysterious process, though. If we have a plan, getting through difficult times can be much easier.
First, it’s important to realize that difficult times are more the rule than the exception. My pastor used to say that Christians should live on the understanding that most of the time, they’ll either be just coming out of a difficult time or just about to enter one. It’s natural for trying times to come and go almost cyclically, so expecting them to do just that can be helpful for dealing with them when they inevitably arise.
Christians should live on the understanding that most of the time, they’ll either be just coming out of a difficult time or just about to enter one.
Second, when you do face difficulty, whatever it may be, don’t go it alone. If you’re struggling with doubt, talk to a more mature believer. If sin is wearing on you, confide in a trusted friend. It’s not a sign of weakness to admit you’re having trouble. Keeping quiet when tough times come can make things even tougher.
Finally, it’s most important to realize that no matter how bad things get, they probably won’t be that way forever. Even if you can’t see the light, there is an end to your tunnel. Whether it’s a day, a week, a month, or a year away, things will change. It won’t stay dark forever.
We know we’ll have trouble in our lives. Jesus guaranteed it. But having a plan to overcome adversity can put us back on the right track more quickly.