I once read a book called “Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations.” It was written by two young brothers, Alex & Brett Harris and the target audience was youth. It was a really good read. I can’t remember if my son, Andrew, recommended the book to me or I to him. But, I do know we both read it. The gist of the book is that youth can do more than they often do – it’s not always easy to do big things, but it is worth it.
The perspective and title of that book came back to me this past weekend. I was called to preach what I felt was a tough sermon. It was at times pointed and challenging. I wasn’t just addressing some theological issue, but I was also dealing with where our church was in that moment. Not unlike many other churches, we have some challenges. But, having them, and addressing them in a sermon, are two different things.
The current issue is not really important for me to lay out here because it could be any tough issue we face. My point in writing this is the reaction I had in talking to someone after church on Sunday. I found myself saying, “I feel privileged to be able to give this message.” Right after I said it I thought, “Wow, that was a weird thing to say.” And yet I knew it was true.
Hard things are hard things. Can’t really argue with that one, can we? But have you ever stopped to consider how privileged we are that God would use us to help others, help the church, help our family, make the difficult journey through those hard times? I mean, sometimes working through these situations brings not only other people’s faults and failures to light, but our own as well. And yet, when we see ourselves as we truly are – good, bad or otherwise, God then has a greater opportunity to transform us into what we could be. That’s a real blessing.
So, if you’re going through hard times I offer you the verse I cling to in those times. Romans 8:28 (TNIV):
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
The truth Paul reminds us of is this – we can trust God to make things work for our good. It doesn’t matter if it’s our fault or someone else’s. Hard things are sometimes the only way God is able to help us see our need to change or our need to step up and help others. And, if we will put our faith and trust in God, the road may not be easy, but the journey will be good.
Holy high-five to you,