Your family weeps with you, prays with you, and reads the Twenty Third Psalm to you. Your friends sit in awkward silence, and some shun you, not knowing what to say.
Some raise the age-old question: Why do bad things happen to good people? Though we may not know why, nonetheless, we know that trouble comes.
Remember Job? In the midst of his calamitous time, he wailed, “Man born of woman is of few days and full of trouble. He springs up like a flower and withers away; like a fleeting shadow, he does not endure” (14:1, 2).
Before Job’s world caved in, all was going well. He was a rich man with much property, a good family, and he was highly respected. The day things fell apart started normally.
His plowmen went to the fields, his herdsmen to the pastures, his camels left with their burdens, and his children went to a party.
Then Job’s world exploded. A messenger raced up and panted out the shattering news that the plowing oxen and the feeding donkeys had been stolen and the workers slain.
Before he finished, another messenger appeared and breathlessly said all the sheep and the shepherds had been killed in a lightning storm.
Immediately, another runner bounded in and, with shortness of breath, said that all the camels had been stolen and the drivers slain.
While poor Job was receiving that incredible report, a fourth messenger ran in and exclaimed that a violent storm had destroyed the house and killed all ten of Job’s children.
How would we react to such nearly unbelievable tragedy? That overwhelming sorrow would surely crush us. Like Job, we would turn to God for sustenance.
He arose, worshiped God, and said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.”
And the Bible continues, “In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing” (Job 1:20-22). Considering adversity, Thomas Carlyle said, “The eternal stars shine out as soon as it is dark enough.”
God has His reasons for allowing trouble to come to us. Henry Ward Beecher commented, “Troubles are often the tools by which God fashions us for better things.”
In the case of Job, it was to prove to Satan that Job would remain true to God under adversities. God has His secret plans for us, and His way is always best.
It is not meant for us to understand everything; we would be as wise as God if we did. Troubles do bring us nearer to God, if we will let them.
Hardships give the soul fiber. A Christ-follower drops to his knees when troubles are present, and sometimes the unconverted turn to God when reverses come.
Aaron Hill said, “There is no merit where there is no trial; and till experience stamps out the mark of strength, cowards may pass for heroes, and faith for falsehood.”
Our reactions to difficulties are very important. Actually, we rise or fall according to what we do with the problems of life. If we become bitter and cynical, that quite likely will influence us adversely for life.
However, if we allow problems to be stepping-stones, adversities will strengthen us.
Nonetheless, the Bible does warn that “Man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward” (Job 5:7). Those troubles for some are monumental.
Dr. Vernon C. Grounds told of a young mother who left her twins bathing upstairs while she answered the cry of another child downstairs in the kitchen.
She found the child seriously burned from scalding water pulled from the stove; so she sent another child across the street to a neighbor’s house to get help.
While racing across the street, the child was killed by an automobile; the scalded child lived only a few minutes; the twins left alone in the bathtub drowned; and the shock of the multiple deaths was too much for the mother, who slumped to the floor and died.
A home that was perfectly normal at sunrise was completely destroyed before nightfall. The shock and sorrow to the husband and relatives must have been nearly unbearable.
A tragedy of this proportion is most unusual, but it does demonstrate that we never know what a day may bring to us.
Christ is the source of solace when reversals come. When King David’s baby lay desperately ill, he fell before the Lord and pled with Him for the life of the child.
When death came, however, David dressed, and went to church. What a practical way to handle grief. Some people quit church completely when trouble comes. But that is not the way to handle adversity.
So when your world caves in, draw near to God through prayer, Bible reading and church attendance. Christ is a great help in times of trouble.