You read in an earlier lesson that at the time of writing this study, our world was experiencing a global pandemic. As this is being written (March 2020), we are in a “shelter in place” stance mandated by the state to prevent the spread of COVID-19, a virus that is infecting people at rapid rates, killing many, and depleting resources across the frontlines of our healthcare industry. The reality of the pandemic is heavy, and the days ahead are very unknown. How long will this last? How many people will this illness kill?
We feel a real desperation for God when we are scared and suffering, and he is quick to meet us right where we are. While we would all prefer a life without temptation, hardship, and pain, that is not our reality. In fact, Scripture shows us story after story of suffering, yet God’s constant faithfulness never fails. Following Jesus does not mean we won’t ever deal with hard things again. It just means we have hope in the middle of it.
God can teach us great things about himself in the middle of our hardest seasons. When we turn to Scripture, we find one reminder after another of God’s steady, unwavering character. He is our light when we cannot see (John 8:12). He is our shepherd (Psalm 23) when we don’t know where to go. He is the vine we can abide in (John 15:1). When you feel tempted, when you feel afraid, when you feel angry, when you feel sad, stay near to God. Talk to him. Spend time in his Word. Encourage others with truth. Stay the course. In the middle of the unknown, trust our all-knowing God.
Even as you grow with God, hardship is guaranteed, but you’re not left to navigate it alone. When we don’t know what’s next or how things will resolve, we do know how our story ends. Jesus overcame the world. This is our hope. When you’re faced with a hard season, consider asking two questions: (1) What do I need to do to stay connected to God in this season? (2) How will I glorify him through it?
Stay near to God and he will stay near to you (James 4:8). Stay the course because he knows where it’s going.