When Your World Shatters
At times our lives seem as fragile as a delicate piece of glass. It can fall and shatter to pieces easily, and how will it be put back together?
When Your World Shatters
It happens to everyone at one point or another, and can very well happen more than once in a lifetime. Finding out a family member has cancer, a godly leader in the church or home has fallen away, sudden financial loss, an unexpected death.
When that happens we all ask the same questions, usually starting with “why”?
Why did this happen? Why is everything going suddenly so wrong? If God loves His people, why does He seem so far away?
I’ve heard it expressed as being imprisoned in a cage, one that is falling in on top of them with no way out.
As Christian’s we’ve been taught God’s promises to never leave us and to hold us up, but how does the life we live reconcile with these truths, when each new morning seems to bring new heartaches?
Where is the comfort He promises in this dark, hopeless period of our lives?
Recently I was asked a very valid question, why should we endure when each trial is quickly preceded by another more difficult one?
I’ve asked these questions myself, so how do I answer this seeking, heartbroken person?
I pondered this problem and prayed that God would show me how to answer such despair. I wanted to say that all would be well but eventually you come to a point when those words seem hollow and empty. What proof do we have that they will be okay?
Despite our emotional upheaval, we do have proof — we just have to search for it.
Praise God, I started to recall a few passages of scripture that really spoke in this situation. I gathered them and found three good reasons why we should carry on and endure.
1. Endure for the sake of those around you.
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.”
— Hebrews 12: 1-3 NKJV (emphasis added)
Whether we like it or not, we have a lot of people looking on and when hard times come, they look even harder to see how we will respond. This is especially true of unbelievers. They want to know whether the beliefs of a Christian can survive the hardship. Trials are often called the fires of life, and people want to know whether we will live through the fire. Deep inside we all long for such a strength and hold hope that it exists.
In Philippians 2: 15 Paul calls us lights in the world, people who are expected to be above reproach in this “crooked and perverse generation.”
Here’s a sobering thought — what you do and how you respond may save or condemn a soul. Frankly, that terrifies me, and it should you too.
2. Endure for our own sake.
“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.“
— 1 Corinthians 9: 25-26 NKJV (emphasis added)
An imperishable crown is an eternal prize, something that will last beyond this life. Our salvation is an imperishable crown for God assures us that it cannot be lost. But another imperishable crown or prize is the blessings He promises His followers that are faithful to Him, in the life to come as well as this one.
In the Days of Praise devotional, Henry M. Morris said, “He is the goal and prize at the end of the journey. For Him, Paul said, ‘I have suffered loss of all things… that I may win Christ… forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus’ (Philippians 3:8, 13-14).”
In the New American Standard version of the Bible, the first part of that passage quoted by Morris is translated, “I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord…”
3. Endure for the sake of God.
“…[F]or it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.“
— Philippians 2: 13 NASB
We all want to please somebody, whether it is our family and relations, our friends, the strangers we meet. It can be out of a desire for approval or merely because we like to see people happy. If we love God, in any small amount, we should want to please Him.
However, if you find you have no desire to please Him then you may want to reconsider your salvation.
So why should we endure? For others, for ourselves, and above all, for God.
Take a moment to think about what we have to thank Him for and you will find you have ample reason to seek to please Him. Never was there a more deserving person of respect and praise.
Do you still doubt? Sometimes there is still a part of us that just isn’t satisfied. We should remind ourselves of truth again and again until we are able to get back up.
Remind Yourself of Truth
We Are Weak, He is Strong
In 2 Corinthians 12: 9 Paul asks the Lord to remove the pain but God says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” While reading that I was strangely reminded of the children’s song we all were taught growing up.
Jesus loves me, this I know,
For the Bible tells me so,
Little ones to Him belong,
They are weak, but He is strong,
Yes, Jesus loves me, yes, Jesus loves me,
Yes, Jesus loves me, the Bible tells me so.
What a beautifully simple song. So easy to learn and yet carrying some great truths. How do I know I am loved? Because the Bible says so. We as little children belong to Him. We may be weak but it is okay because He is strong, just remember that Jesus loves us.
Referring back to the idea of shattered glass, the funny thing about it is that glass, even when shattered can look pretty. The way the light glances off of it, the changing hues, it can be breathtaking. Do you see the relevance?
We Are Not Consumed
Though our troubles are hard, unbearable even, He will not allow us to be consumed. Over the years Lamentations 3: 22-23 has been a comfort through many trials.
“Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”
Morris also stated, “The Lord never asks us to go anywhere that He has not gone before.”
The pain we are feeling, He’s felt it. The rejection, despair, hopelessness — He knows all too well how hard it is. We have to remember that we aren’t going it alone.
That’s why so many Christian’s who have been there urge us to go on and not give up. They know that the prize we will receive for enduring will be so great, so worth it, that we would gladly go through it again.
If you have a question or a problem, or any kind of decision to make, look for the answer in God’s word. He has all the answers.
For more reading on this subject, check out these resources
- Sufficient Grace, In Touch Devotional
- Christ Our Leader, Days of Praise Devotional
- Lamentations 3: 22-26
- Psalm 94: 18-19
- Mandisa’s Just Cry, the lyrics are just beautiful.
For more Godly Living posts check out my page!