“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” – John 16:33.
Jesus said it, and it doesn’t take too long in life before you experience it. Trouble. Trials. Tribulations. Obstacles. Whatever word you want to use. They’re not done coming until we go home to be with Jesus. It would be in our best interest to go ahead and accept that.
I remember when I was in high school before I knew Jesus. I dreaded anything going wrong. My life was going well, and I lived in the naïve bliss that I’d keep it that way. So, naturally, the worst thing that could happen—and the thing I was most unprepared for—was to face hard times. When you live with the naïve thought that nothing bad or hard will come your way, it knocks you completely off balance when something difficult does come. Everything is wrong, and you can’t control yourself because your life isn’t the way it’s supposed to be.
Jesus said in Matthew 7:24-25, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.” Charles Spurgeon, the great London preacher of the 1800s, commented on that passage, saying, “It is of no use to hope that we shall be well rooted if no rough winds pass over us.” Hardship of some kind will come, and it is an opportunity. We have the option of throwing a tantrum because life isn’t going our way, or we have the option of trusting Jesus and seeking Him through the hard times.
The right choice is obvious, but it’s not easy. Our instinct as humans is to sink to the basest parts of ourselves. We like to feed our ego, the negativity, the pain. But every time we choose Jesus instead, we are rewarded. We realize how good it feels, we realize that He is with us every step, and we realize that He is better than anything the world could offer. We feel closer to Him, and the next time a trial comes we have more faith that Jesus is the better way. And, to make things better, this more robust faith will permeate other parts of our lives.
So next time hardship comes—and it will—think of it as an opportunity to trust Jesus and increase your faith. After all, He is the most solid foundation.