08-05-07

Sometimes it hits you like a brick wall.  Sometimes it just comes out of nowhere.  And sometimes, just when you think you can’t take anymore, it gets worse.  I’m talking about the difficulties in life, the things we Christians call “trials”.  There are certainly good ways of handling trials and bad ways of handling trials, but no matter how you handle them, they still come.  Some people try to avoid trials at all costs.  Some live in a pretend world where there are no problems for the Christian.  But sooner or later reality will hit us all like that proverbial two-by-four across the head.

There aren’t too many people who have gone through what Job went through.  As the first wave of trials began to hit, Job did quite well, falling down and worshipping God despite the difficulty (Job 1:20-21).  As the second wave hit, he continued to do well, telling his wife that they needed to not just accept good things from God, but adversity as well (Job 2:10).  But after awhile, Job began to wear down until he let loose a cry that cursed the day he was born.  “May the day perish on which I was born, And the night in which it was said, ‘A male child is conceived.’” (Job 3:3) 
I’m not trying to let us off the hook when it comes to complaining about life’s difficulties.  I just want to say that it’s certainly normal to slip into depression.  Peter tells us we shouldn’t be surprised by trials (1Pet. 4:12), and that ultimately we should learn to “rejoice” because trials are how we grow and are refined (1Pet. 1:6-7).  If you have a friend going through a trial, don’t be quick to condemn the complaining.  Just help them move past it.