When walking through trial after trial, those stormy times when life presses in, threatening to choke and extinguish all happiness, it is easy to back away, curl up, and grow discouraged, isn’t it?
Often life is quite difficult to bear.
As a child, I remember reading Alexander, and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst. The main character is a little boy who experiences one disappointment after another, small events that culminate in a crummy twenty-four-hour period.
I still find the book’s ending quite comforting, when Alexander’s mother says to her son, “Some days are like that.”
We are often like Alexander, experiencing one small trial or disappointment after another. Suddenly the weight feels too great to bear as life becomes all rain and no sunshine.
Truthfully? Some days are like that.
So how do we live well and bring glory to God in our sufferings and trials?
Tucked within Hebrews Chapter 10 is a recipe for authentic, and lasting joy. A joy that is wonderfully unshakable, through all of life’s heartaches. The author of Hebrews reminds us that as Christians, we may live with confidence in Christ, who is faithful forever.
“…let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” – Hebrews 10:22-25
This is the Christian’s recipe for lasting joy:
Draw near. Hold fast. Stir up. Encourage.
Regardless of what fiery trial God permits into your life, He longs for you to come closer to Him in faith. Remember this, dear sisters: we are held and kept by our Creator.
We may hold fast to our confession—that Jesus Christ is our Redeemer—without wavering. Nothing can shake the finished work of Christ, and no one can pluck us from His grip. Stay anchored in the daily reading and meditation of His Word. Obey Scripture and be a woman who prays without ceasing. These measures of holding fast will serve to draw you near to the Lord.
How may we stir up others to a place of greater love and stronger faith and good works? Often such sparks are ignited in our own gritty places of suffering, as we determine to remain close to the heart of God. Fellow Christians are watching our reactions to trials. By suffering well, drawing near, and holding fast to Christ, we can stir up greater hope and fidelity in others. And by choosing to meet weekly at church, submitting to the teaching of the Word, we can encourage each other with truth. Stirring up others leads to much encouragement.
All of these measures entail a looking upward to God in trust, while focusing outward in love toward others, rather than curling inward, eyes focused on ourselves.
When the next terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day happens, remember that God sent Christ to rescue us, and His Holy Spirit to indwell us. He is working in our lives, even now, offering us the recipe for lasting joy, regardless of all circumstances.
Draw near to the Lord, hold fast to our confession of faith, stir up fellow believers to love and good works, and seek to encourage others, today.