And David was greatly distressed—but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.–1 Samuel 30:6
There is not a person on earth who has not experienced disappointments. Some are minor matters, but some are of a major magitude–the kind that knocks you off your feet, stomps you, and leaves you feeling that recovery is impossible. How do we deal with these difficulties? In my case, I often have to start by asking myself this question, “What did you expect?”. In other words I have to remind myself that I live in a fallen world. I am a pilgrim travelling through enemy territory, enroute to my heavenly home. That being the case it isn’t realistic to expect a trouble free life. Instead of thinking, “Why is life so difficult?” I ought to wonder why I have any blessings at all–I don’t deserve any of them. This wicked world is a tough place to live and troubles, many troubles are to be expected (Job 14:1).
John Henry Jowett gave us this great reminder before he entered into the presence of the Lord:
Evil never surrenders its hold without a sore fight. We never pass into any spiritual inheritance through the delightful exercises of a picnic, but always through the grim contentions of the battle field. It is so in the secret realm of the soul. Every faculty which wins its spiritual freedom does so at the price of blood. Apollyon is not put to flight by a courteous request; he straddles across the full breadth of the way, and our progress has to be registered in blood and tears. This we must remember or we shall add to all the other burdens of life the gall of misinterpretation. We are not “born again” into soft and protected nurseries, but in the open country where we suck strength from the very terror of the tempest. “We must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.”