Wouldn’t it be ironic if all of our hardships were just intended to be an invitation for us to seek Christ? What if the presence of difficulty and hardship were just the Lord’s plea for us to embrace our dependence and pursue relationship with Him? Imagine if that was hardship’s sole purpose!
The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; God will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by His love; He will exult over you with loud singing.
Zephaniah 3:17 ESV
Hardship in Our Days
I know in these days of chaos and confusion, when there’s an assault upon our hope continually, we can get cast on our backs. Hopelessness can overwhelm and discourage us. We can believe we are a victim of our circumstance and wonder when God is to answer. But what if there is a higher purpose to it all?
I believe our God is orchestrating events and circumstances so that we will look to Him and involve Him. Each of us have proven that our independence leads to death and destruction. So what if all hardship is just an invitation presented by God so we would seek Him and enter into loving dependence? What if this is the purpose of illnesses? Perhaps the current political upheavals are just God’s calling us to lean deeper into Him? What if His call isn’t for us to humble ourselves and pray so that we would do it right, but instead that we would press closer into His very breast?!
God doesn’t ascribe trust in our ability to perform righteousness. He has proven that none of us are good, not even the most dogmatic and pious of us. Our profession of religiosity earns us nothing but a mouth full of words. But what we do need is God and our relationship through Christ’s own Life.
Looking at Hardship in a New Light
This all makes me see hardship in a different light. It isn’t a testing of my merit or endurance. Hardship is a positioning of my heart where I can turn my face to my only Answer. He is continually yearning for my fellowship, and hardship gives me another opportunity to seek Him.
There’s a temptation to believe that hardship is punitive, especially in the midst of it. But could it just be the Father’s desire and invitation to come closer to Him? And if there is a chastisement in my hardship, even chastisement is a call to turn to Him.
If My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves, pray, seek, crave, and require of necessity My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:14 AMPC