Each Friday we’re taking a theme from our upcoming book, American Awakening: Eight Principles to Restore the Soul of America, and highlighting it. This week we’re talking about facing adversity and redeeming it.
We all face adversity and hard times of some sort in our lives. Right now, more Americans are facing hard times than we’ve seen for quite a while with sickness, job loss, racial tension, anxiety, depression and loneliness at all-time highs. These are not abstract ideas for many of you right now. You’re actually facing very difficult situations.
In the midst of these challenges, it would be insensitive nor helpful, I think, to take a “you’ll get through it” approach. That over-simplifies the deep pain many are feeling. With God, sometimes it’s less “you’ll get through it,” (though I believe you will) and more “I am with you.” And even better than that, “I will use this for your good.” That part is harder to swallow in the moment. We may think, “How could any of this be good?!?” Or we may ask the hard question, “why is God allowing this to happen?”
While I can’t answer all our questions about suffering and adversity, I do know this from personal experience: when we let Him, God does redeem our hard times and use them for our ultimate good. He takes them and shapes us through them. He teaches us. He expands our hearts and our compassion and our ability to love and serve others. It doesn’t mean it won’t hurt – but it does mean the pain gets redeemed.
In the most ultimate sense, this is central to our faith. That though there is death, it is through death that we find life. For on the other side of Jesus’ death there is resurrection and life abundant for us all. Thanks be to God.
Grace and Peace,