I once heard of a Christian seminar titled, “How To Live A Stress-Free Life.” Such an unrealistic hope promptly made me stressful! Yet we all long for relief from life’s many pressures.
A Christian friend of mine whose family is experiencing tough times admits feeling let down by God. She said, “I’ve prayed, agonized, and claimed promises, but nothing changes. The frustrating thing is that I know He has the power to get us out of this. I’ve seen Him do it before, but this time He’s silent.”
Larry Crabb, in his book Inside Out, emphasizes that our only hope for complete relief from hardship is to be with Jesus in heaven. “Until then,” he says, “we either groan or pretend we don’t.” He adds, “The experience of groaning, however, is precisely what modern Christianity so often tries to help us escape.”
My friend is groaning and she’s not pretending she isn’t. Like all of us, she simply wants things to change. But the fact is, something is changing—she is!
Paul assured us in 2 Corinthians 4:17 that our present sufferings are lightweight and brief compared with the weighty and eternal changes they are producing in us. We groan now, but there’s glory ahead (Romans 8:18).
The obstacles that we must face
Along life’s rocky way
Are used by God so we might hear
“Well done” from Him someday. —Sper
God often uses a setback to move us forward.