“We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.” (Acts 14:22)
Everyone has problems. Maybe we’re encountering stress from university, being mistreated at work, facing emotional turmoil, loneliness, friends or family issues, physical illness or pain. Usually, we can overcome these problems through prayer and a bit of time. However, we find that every so often, there comes a problem so great that it pushes us to our limits and we feel like we just want to break down; and sometimes, it even cause us to slightly lose sight.
We find that actually, the Bible says we must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God. We already know that the path to the heavenly kingdom will be difficult. Most of the time we actually know what we must do in order to overcome these difficulties. Things like constant prayer and constantly seeking counsel from the Bible. However, why is it that sometimes it doesn’t seem to work?
Because our heart is slightly off. When we are in these situations where it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel, more often than not, we are so focused on the fact that we are suffering that we have slightly lost sight of what’s important – God. We forget that these situations are there for our own benefit and there’s the good will of God behind it all. We forget that we need to be pushed to our limits every so often because that’s how we know the strength of our faith. We forget that people still care about us. We forget that God is still there by our side.
Have you ever suffered so much that it seems like no one understands and you’re all alone?
In these situations, remember: when you feel like you have no one, you still have your spiritual companions. When you feel like you have no spiritual companions, you still have your family. When you feel like you have no family, you still have God.
Have you ever prayed and prayed, yet it feels like God isn’t listening?
In these situations, remember David. In David’s days, he was chased out of his own homeland and had to live like a refugee. He suffered persecution from people whom he was loyal to, he was chased down by people he thought were his friends. We find that in many of his psalms, David cries out to the Lord. He prays to God from the bottom of his heart to deliver him from his difficulties and persecution. However, we find that he also felt as if God wasn’t listening.
In Psalms 13, he mournfully questions why God doesn’t listen to him. However, the tone of the psalm changes nearing the end. He no longer mourns and questions, but rather he finds peace when he reflects on how much God has blessed him in the past. He remembers God’s salvation and God’s mercy. He has faith that because God was with him in the past, He will be with him in his current situation and also in the future.
Today, when we feel the same, just remember all the trials we’ve been through in the past and how God has lead us faithfully and lovingly through. Remember all the blessings He has given us, from our family to our physical and material belongings.
Just remember that these situations are to make us stronger, not to defeat us. Remember that no matter what we encounter, no matter how lonely we feel, we are never alone. People do care and so does God. We’re all in this together and things will get better, just keep praying.