If Josiah was having a difficult day, and I asked him how he was doing, he’d usually think, take a breath, smile, and say something like, “Well, today is difficult… but God is good.”
I always liked that. Honesty about life’s difficulties. Honesty about the reality of God’s character through it all.
Yes, life is sometimes difficult, but even more affirmative is the truth that God is good through it all.
I’ve had a nasty cold for over two weeks now. I hate summer colds. While everyone else is having an awesome time enjoying the weather, I’m stuck indoors sweating and hacking up my lungs while trying to keep the snot where it belongs. I’d like to go on, but you all know what it’s like.
In John 16:33, Jesus said, “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
The reality is that believing and following Jesus is difficult; it may cost you your reputation, your comfort, or even your life. Even just plain life can be difficult. People get sick or lose their jobs, marriages fall apart, friends may let you down… The list of difficulties goes on.
But as a believer I can have peace because I know two things: (1) Jesus has overcome the world, and (2) Jesus is good.
I used to have a pastor who said it like this: “Life is a weekend camping trip, and sometimes you get rained on.” Usually, it doesn’t rain the entire weekend, but even if it does, soon Sunday comes and you’re driving back home to a dry and warm house. One day, I’m going to meet Jesus, and any difficulty I face here (whether as small as a cold or as large as my faith) will fade as memories as I look into his eyes.
One day, Jesus is going to look at me, a knowing smile will play across his lips, and a twinkle will shine in his eyes as he says, “Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master” (Matthew 25:21, 23).
Oh, I live for that day.
So if I have a cold today, if I can’t pay my bills, if my car won’t start, if my faith is in shreds, if I see no goodness around me, if my life is in jeopardy, if my reputation has been demolished, if my body is full of pain… I can have hope because one day this camping trip will be done, and I’ll be sitting in my heavenly home enjoying his presence.
If you’re facing a difficulty, don’t try to ignore it or pretend it’s not troubling. (That’s not called having faith; that’s called having dumb.) Admit the reality that life is difficult and that your problem (even if it’s as small as a cold) is difficult. But don’t stop there. Declare that Jesus has overcome and that God is good, both in spite of the very real difficulties.
So, yes, this cold is driving me nuts. And YES God is good!