It's Not Meaningless
As I sit here and write this note tonight there are many within our church body that are on my heart and my mind. In times of struggle, it can seem like we are not able to grab our footing, like we are being tossed around by the waves of life with one trial after another. Sometimes it even seems like we can’t take a breath before the next wave comes crashing over us. It is my prayer that in times like these that we, me included, do not lose hope. However, when you are in the midst of such a trial, it is hard to not focus on the world that seems like it is crashing in around us. But know this, Christian, God has a plan to deliver you through such a time.
Of course, I draw attention to the words that you just read, that God will deliver you “through” this storm. I know that this does not sound like a comforting thought, that at times you are going to have to endure in such a situation. However, I challenge such thinking by asking if you truly believe that “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God” (Rom. 8:28a)? This familiar verse does not say that God makes all things good in your life according to what we deem to be good; rather, God causes all things to work together for good.
I purposely left out the second half of this verse to highlight how God does this mighty work. The verse concludes by saying “to those who are called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28b). This is the comfort that the Christian finds within such a verse as this one. There is a reason that you are going through this. It is not meaningless! Your situation is not hopeless! Rather, in all things and all situations, know that we have hope because we have Christ (1 Pet. 3:15).
It comes down to a Galatians 2:20 thing: “I have been crucified with Christ: and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.” In Him we are set apart according to His purpose to live the life He has ordained for us. The moments in life, whether we see them as good or bad, are doing something. As the title of this note states, they are not meaningless. Whether it be that God is correcting you as a good Father does (Heb. 12:7–11), or that you are being strengthened in your faith by a thorn in the flesh (2 Cor. 12:7–10), ultimately God is calling you to trust Him and to seek refuge in Him so that you may endure the storm.
In times of need God often draws my heart to passages such as Psalm 46. We can see within these verses the same imagery of what God calls us to do. It starts by saying “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Understand that God is our hiding place. As this Psalm continues to explain, it doesn’t matter if the seas roar and the earth is crumbling in around us. God is our stronghold, and His kingdom will not be moved.
Notice that we are never called to endure in our own strength but rather to trust in the strength of the Lord. This is why, in this same Psalm, God commands us, “Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” (v. 10). In this God calls us to put our full trust in Him to complete His good work in us. “For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Cor. 4:17).
Brothers and sisters, whether you are in the throes of a trial today or tomorrow, remember that it is not meaningless. It is all working together for good, according to His purpose, to those who love God, in order that His name will be exalted and all praise will be due Him for the salvation and hope that we have because we are found in Christ.