Life can be so hard. We don’t achieve our career goals, accidents occur that keep us from reaching our dreams, we achieve our goals and find out they aren’t as great as we thought, … life just sometimes gives us a lot of broken pencils. What do we do when we our pencils are broken? Who do we turn to? How do we handle it?
Hardships are exactly that, hard. They aren’t easy. Oftentimes we can’t see any good in them. However, God tells us that all things are worked to the good for those who believe in him. That means the hard things, too.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.Romans 8:28
This verse isn’t saying that we won’t have hardships. It is telling us that God will work it to our good. Somehow, we are going to benefit from the hardship. How can that be?
Let’s look at what kind of hardships there are. Some hardships are because of our faith, we would call this discrimination or persecution. As Christians, we can expect these hardships.
Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,2 Timothy 3:12
We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.2 Corinthians 4:8-10
Other hardships are in regard to life circumstances. Death, injury, job loss, foregone dreams, stress, and this list goes on and on. We are all very familiar with this type of hardship. It is the hardship of living life.
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”John 16:33
Trials are also hardships. These are put before us to test our faith or to strengthen us.
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.James 1:2-4
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.James 1:12
No matter the hardship, God promises to go through it with us and to make good come out of it.
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.Matthew 11:28
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?Romans 8:35
More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.Romans 5:3-5
God walks with us through all the hardships. Jesus promises that the Holy Spirit will always give us the words and wisdom we need. The Bible tells us that all things are worked to our good. Our broken pencils will be used to our good.
That lost dream? Maybe it was lost so that you can realize another one. The injustice you, or someone you love, endured? It may give you the opportunity to comfort others who have had similar experiences. Every broken pencil is different for each person and God handles each one differently.
Does God cause the broken pencils? Sometimes, and sometimes not. However, he always takes the broken pencils and gives you opportunity to use the broken pieces. It may take time for you to see it. However, it will be there. Keep your eyes focused on God and seek his comfort and peace. He promises it to us. We just need to seek it out.
- Is there a broken pencil in your life right now? If so, what is it?
- Have you seen God work it to your good? If so, record it.
- If you haven’t seen God work it to your good yet, seek him out. Ask him to reveal it to you. Maybe the situation is too intense right now, not fully over, or the scars are too fresh. Go to God and ask him to comfort and heal you. The good may come later.
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