“Life is hard, but God is so very, very good . . . .” It is a saying I have repeated to myself and to others in recent months after witnessing horrific ugliness on the news, while counseling hurting people or absorbing devastating news from friends and family. In such seasons, when bitterness threatens to overtake us and fear grips our hearts, it is important to remember that no matter what happens, we have options:
Option One: The world offers popular sayings such as, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade,” or “Grin and bear it!” According to Wikipedia, such sayings encourage “optimism and a can-do attitude in the face of adversity or misfortune.” However well-intended, such sayings lack comfort, wisdom, direction or even a glimmer of hope. When life turns sour, we can no more will ourselves through a mountain of heartache and trouble, than we can will into existence “lemonade” that is palatable from a bowl of lemons!
Compounding the impossibility of making palatable “lemonade”, the “water” the world offers is tainted with pollution and the artificial sweetness of saccharin can never dissipate bitterness or generate hope.
I appreciate the the directness of Jeremiah 2:13, where God straightforwardly declares the foolish consequences of living apart from Him:“My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken Me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.”
Option Two: We can look at the same mountain of challenges (“lemons”) through eyes of faith; allowing God’s Spirit and the Scriptures to minister to our brokenness. There is no substitute for drinking in the sweet water of the Scriptures, where conviction by the Spirit cleanses and brings nourishment to the soul. Are you looking for assurance in a dizzying world filled with darkness? The opening words of Genesis cut through the darkness as it speaks light and truth, assurance and hope with this thunderous proclamation:
“In the beginning GOD . . . . “
No matter how bad life appears, God is in control. Since time began; His design and purposes have continued to be worked out in good times and in tragedy. When the world proclaimed defeat when God’s Only Son suffered and died on the Cross two thousand years ago, Christ was raised in victory as the Savior of all who would trust in Him. (I Corinthians 15:20-22) God’s Plan will not be thwarted!
Is life giving you “lemons”? The Bible is full of wisdom, encouragement and hope for those who seek God in honesty and in faith. Give thanks to a loving God who has a plan and purpose for your life both now and into eternity with Him.” . . . but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:14
All to His Glory!