Life can be a very difficult thing. The Christian road was never promised to be an easy one and any real Christian can attest to that fact. Sometimes, it’s difficult to even find the time to quietly sit and muse or think on things. We don’t have answers to all of our questions, we don’t have happy endings to all of our stories, we don’t have closure to every problem, and we always have the road ahead which is not a smooth path, but we can take comfort in the fact that first and foremost, the Lord promised He would never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5) and the fact that every true man or woman of God in the Bible trotted the same path.
For example, I look at the story of Joseph in the book of Genesis. He was set apart from his brothers and his father loved him more than all of his children because he was the son of his old age (Genesis 37:3). The Lord gave Joseph dreams when he was younger that he did not fully understand. He knew in his head what they were, but his heart had not yet received the full truth of their meaning. Little did Joseph know that even though his dreams were favorable to him, he did not know the trials he would have to endure before the full fruition of his dreams would come to pass.
A lot of times, I think the Lord gives us a good word of prophecy before things really hit the fan, so that we have the sure word to hold onto as a promise during our trials which are bound to come. Head knowledge and heart knowledge are two very different things. There are people out there who say that apart from Christ, they can do nothing (John 15:5). Then there are those people out there who really know by experience that apart from Christ, they really can do nothing. I spent a lot of my life having knowledge of things in my head, but not the experience of walking them out by testimony. To gain testimony in something can be a very difficult thing because often times you have to go through hardships, trials, struggles, or pain to gain the wisdom that is needed for you to grow in grace, and as a Christian (2 Peter 3:18).
It’s hard sometimes to swallow the fact that the Lord knows what He is doing, even if we do not. Our blind eyes often cannot see what He sees. It is hard to walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7); by the Word of God rather than our feelings. After all, faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). Have you heard that saying, “I do not know what the future holds, but I know who holds the future”? I have to say that saying something like that is much easier than walking it out.
I think when a New Year begins, people do some reflecting upon the year that has just gone by. They would like to better themselves in so many ways, but apart from Christ, all their efforts will be in vain. Apart from Christ, we are nothing. Without Christ, we can do nothing (John 15:5).
We look at the story of Joseph and rejoice at the end result, but unless we have walked in his shoes with being betrayed, falsely accused, thrown in prison, and everything else he had to endure, keep in mind it is lot easier to read a few chapters in the Bible of his story, than to walk out the many years he was alone with unanswered questions. Joseph’s story ends well, but what did he have to go through to get there? Keep in mind, he did not have a full understanding of the reason for his trials until He saw the Lord’s purpose through it all in the end (Genesis 50:20). So, if you’re going through a hard time, take heart in knowing that answers don’t always come right away, but the Lord will show you the purpose for it all in the end. Have faith and trust in God and He will see you through (Proverbs 3:5-6).