“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, NIV
We have all had those times when it feels like we just can’t win. At times, it can feel like all we are doing is struggling and taking it one day at a time. When this happens, it is easy for hopelessness to creep in and invade our thoughts.
As Christians, we are far from immune to these hardships. However, we can be sure that even in the midst of the most horrible situations and the most painful struggles, we have hope through Jesus Christ for better days.
Struggles in Life
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” — James 1:2-4, NIV
No one wants to endure struggles in life or to be in painful circumstances, but unfortunately, they are a part of life. However, just because we are facing difficult times in life does not mean we have to be overtaken by them. We still have control of our actions and attitudes toward a situation.
In fact, James tells us, “consider it pure joy…whenever you face trials of many kinds” (James 1:2, NIV).
Does this mean we must constantly put on a happy attitude and hide our feelings? No, this is not what this passage is saying. Even Jesus cried at the death of his friend (John 11:35).
Rather, this passage is pointing out how good can come from hardships and how our faith during trying times produces perseverance and maturity. Even in our hardest times, when we are far from happy, we can still be full of joy by remembering that our pain is temporary and by focusing on the good that it can produce.
Hope in Hard Times
“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” — Romans 8:18, NIV
Knowing that good can come from trials may make it a bit easier to have hope in difficult times; however, in situations that seem truly hopeless, this may be harder to see. In such dire moments, we must lean into God and trust in His plan for our lives. Do we know what that plan is? No. Do we have to understand His plan to trust Him? No. This is the meaning of trust: we confidently put our future in His hands.
One way or another, we will find that our struggles come to an end, but during the pain we have “a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24, NIV). We can come to Him with our struggles, worries and needs through prayer, and He will listen and be present with us.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,” — 1 Peter 1:3, NIV
Our greatest living hope is found in Jesus Christ. Only in him can we find true peace that is not dependent on circumstances. He offers an eternal future with him to all who put their trust in his redemption of us.
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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.