There’s no way around it: we’re going through a difficult time right now. The COVID-19 virus has everyone on edge. There are serious health and safety concerns, as well as financial and job difficulties. We aren’t sure when things are going to turn around.
Take Me Out
When we go through something painful, or face a difficult obstacle, many of us pray that God would take us OUT of the difficulty. In other words, we want the pain to stop. We want the obstacle to go away. We want our life to be easier and less difficult. You might have noticed yourself praying these kinds of prayers over the last few days. I know I have.
Invite God In
Sometimes I wonder if that’s the best way to pray. What if, instead of praying that God would take us OUT of the difficulty, we prayed and invited God INTO the difficulty? What if God doesn’t want to remove the obstacle, but wants to join us in facing the obstacle?
In This World, You Will Have Trouble
One of my favorite passages in the Bible is found in the 16th chapter of John. Jesus is teaching his disciples, and this is what he says: “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.”
Life is Difficult
I think it’s interesting that Jesus promises we will have trouble. Trouble is just part of life. There’s no way to get around it. Sometimes our efforts to avoid or remove trouble from our lives actually do more harm than good. We have to get comfortable with the fact that life is difficult. Jesus doesn’t promise us that we will have an easy, comfortable life.
God is With Us
But even though we will experience trouble, Jesus doesn’t leave us alone. He encourages us to take heart, because he has overcome the world. In other parts of the Bible, God promises never to leave us nor forsake us. Even though we experience difficulty and struggle, God is with us. And because of that, we can have peace.
The next time you are having a rough time and find yourself praying that God will remove the difficulty from your life, think about shifting your prayer a bit. What would it look like for you to invite God into your situation, so you can walk through it together?