Many families are struggling. Some families are losing their homes due to financial hardships and others due to banks’ illegal practices. The financial hardships are breaking up families. Young children suffer as a result. Domestic violence has increased in some cities. Many college graduates have high credit card debts. About 154 soldiers returning from war have committed suicide within the first 155 days of 2012. Elected officials seem more concerned about their bank accounts rather than the lives of the people they were elected to serve.
The Bible predicted that in the “last days” people would suffer many difficult situations and witness many unpleasant things:
You can be certain that in the last days there will be some very hard times. People will love only themselves and money. They will be proud, stuck-up, rude, and disobedient to their parents. They will also be ungrateful, godless, heartless, and hateful. Their words will be cruel, and they will have no self-control or pity. These people will hate everything that is good. They will be sneaky, reckless, and puffed up with pride. Instead of loving God, they will love pleasure. Even though they will make a show of being religious, their religion won’t be real. Don’t have anything to do with such people. – 2 Timothy 3: 1-5 (Contemporary English Version)
Is there any hope for the “average” man and woman? The Bible recorded many cases where God’s servants experienced hard times and sought the help of their God.
The Bible book of Job relates the experience of a wealthy servant of God named Job. After enjoying a period of prosperity and good health, one day he found himself in a sad state of poverty. He lost all his livestock and ten children in one day and shortly thereafter, he was struck with a painful disease.
During this time of great hardship, Job did not turn against his God but remained steadfast to the righteous principles that he believed in. H was later rewarded with twice as much flocks and herd as formerly and ten more children.
What lessons can we learn from Job’s experience?
1. It is normal to feel frustrated, helpless and without purpose. Job felt so bad he even wondered why was he born and why was he alive. “Why from the womb did I not proceed to die? [Why did I not] come forth from the belly itself and then expire?” Job 3:11 (Job did not imply nor does the Bible suggest taking one’s own life.)
2. Our difficult life experiences do not mean we are being punished by God. A simple explanation is that we are born in sin and as sinners we naturally endure a life of “ups and downs.”
3. God will reward those who remain faithful to right principles. Job was blessed with double the livestock he had before and 10 more beautiful children. Job was blessed with many more years of life as he continued living “a hundred and forty years and came to see his sons and his grandsons—four generations. And gradually Job died, old and satisfied with days.” Job 42:16,17
While you are undergoing hard times keep these Bible verses in mind:
“Turn your burdens over to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will never let the righteous person stumble.” Psalm 55:22 (GOD’S WORD Translation)
“A young man I used to be, I have also grown old, And yet I have not seen anyone righteous left entirely, Nor his offspring looking for bread.” Psalms 37:25
“If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?” Matthew 6:30
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:6-7 (New International Version)