Tough Times Suck

Death is tough.  Sickness is tough.  Lack of work is tough.  Broken relationships are tough.  Financial ruin is tough.  Lots of people are going through tough times right now.  I tried to figure out a good phrase to describe it . . . “bummer” is antiquated.  Uncomfortable, afflicted, hard-pressed just don’t describe what I would like to say.  So, I apologize if this offends you . . . but tough times just plain suck.

Tough times aren’t pleasant.  They are not merry, they are not fun.  They suck.  Plain and simple.

  • I don’t like it that my good friend’s dad just passed away.
  • I don’t like it when my good friend withers before my eyes and passes away.
  • I don’t like it when a missionary friend from high school youth group days dies before her time from pneumonia while on the mission field in Africa.
  • I don’t like it that my pastor of 34 years passed away last week.
  • I don’t like it that my favorite uncle is in hospice.
  • I don’t like it that a good friend, is suffering the horrible effects of cancer treatment.
  • I don’t like it when I see broken relationships, or suffering, or injustice . . .

I just don’t like these things . . .

But . . .

God is bigger.

And . . .

The truth of the matter is that these things are inevitable.  They are a part of life – whether we like it or not.  We live in a fallen world twisted by sin and we are all suffering under it’s effects.  In fact, here’s the big one:

We are all going to die . . .

We will all pass from this life to the next.  There’s no getting around it.  These shells we live in will die.  We will continue to have good times and bad times.

But . . .

God is greater than this and He cares for you.

How did the apostle, Paul handle adversity?  He had it pretty bad at times.  He was bruised, persecuted, afflicted, robbed, shipwrecked, cold, starved, and whipped all for the sake of The Gospel.  How did he stay encouraged?  Here’s what he wrote under the guidance of the Holy Spirit:

“We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair.  We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.”  2 Cor 4:8-9

  • How on earth could he have that kind of optimism?
  • How could he endure so much yet still think it wasn’t so bad?
  • Could we ever be that confident?
  • Could we ever be at peace like that when our world seems to be falling down?



We can, when we encounter the One who is eternal.  From the view of eternity – none of this seems that big of a deal.  I encourage you to get so close to Him that His view becomes your view.

“When God has gripped our heart – no thing will ever come between us.  

Not death.  Not sickness.  Not adversity.”

Friends, I encourage you to see with different eyes.  Eternal eyes.  I guarantee that you’ll be strengthened, and encouraged, and comforted.  Let the power and presence of His Holy Spirit be with you, your thoughts, and guide your response to adversity.  You won’t regret it.

So, let me clarify myself:

Without Jesus, tough times suck.

With Him . . . adversity can be glorious!

You see, the stuff that takes place inside of us during adversity is far more valuable than anything this old world can throw our way.

Paul sums it up very well as he finishes his previous thought in verses 16-18:

“That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day.  For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!  So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”

  • keep looking forward!
  • keep looking toward eternity!
  • keep looking toward Jesus!

Love you guys . . . hang in there . . . stand together . . . pray for each other.

Steve  🙂

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