Most of us have heard the Lynn Anderson song, Never Promised You a Rose Garden. Yet we go through life believing that if we do our best, we should always have the best, never experiencing hardship or ‘tough times.’ The matter is amplified for those who trust Christ as our guide. I mean, if we are under the protection of the Great Almighty, wouldn’t that mean we have someone in our corner who keeps us from harm? Doesn’t his grace keep us from the hardships that the ‘sinners’ of this world struggle with? If not, then what is the use of God with us in the first place?
God With Us
The truth is that we live in a fallen world. Adam and Eve’s original sin saw to that. And because of sin being in the world, we are doomed to struggle with life in general. But we have the means to overcome the internal and external battles we face. We have several. First, we have God’s Word, the Bible. We can always find answers there. Second, we have prayer. Talking to God can give us insight and a peace when needed. And third, we have each other. Friends, family, and other godly counsel can lead us to the comfort we seek. These three often work together to guide us through the hard times we face.
The Struggles We Face
As I mentioned, a life with Christ will not always be a well-beaten path. If you know me, you know that I’ve struggled quite a bit over my life, but I have been a follower of Christ since I was young. I was born into the church. So, I am living proof that even one walking a life in Christ will not always find a smooth path and that life can keep you on your toes. You can also see it when you read the Bible. In fact, I have it easy compared to many Biblical accounts of men who followed the Lord, namely Paul. You could definitely say he never sat in a rose garden or ever got close to one.
The Difficulties We Go Through
So, what do we do? I read so much on social media about those that discount Christ and slam Him every chance they get. They poke at those who profess the Lord hoping that they will take a stand, then unload on them until they are unable to respond accurately and use that as a way of saying that the person is uneducated and that is the reason God is not real. These moments usually stem from times of trial and uncertainty a Christian faces or times this world faces even. They say God is not real, but in the same breath, they say that it’s God’s fault that the world is in the state it’s in; that He has abandoned the world. Either that or since the world is in such chaos, it is the proof we need that He never existed in the first place. “Why would god (they always use a little ‘g’) allow this to happen if he were good?”
The Answer to the Question
I have long given up answering the pokes and deliberate questions intended to get me into a debate about what I believe. I know that as a Christ follower that in my walk with Jesus, I am going to face hardship. It is part of life. The promise I have is not that I will live a struggle-free life but that I am going to get through the struggles I face. I may be bloodied and bruised on the other end of it, but I will get through it by the grace of God. Psalm 23 gives assurance of that. This is the misconception that non-Christians fall into. Heh, it is the misconception many Christians believe today. And once a Christian realizes that we will still have a bumpy road, the easier that bumpy road can become, primarily because we do not enter it clawing our way away from it. So, the answer to the question, “Where is your ‘god’?” is “He is right here with me holding me through this trial.”
So Why Do We Face Trials?
The short answer is, ‘I don’t know.’ The long answer is that they perfect our faith so that we can help others in the struggles that they face. The strong assist the weak. I fully believe that every struggle I have faced is there so I can help those who are going through what I have faced in my life. God allowed me to face these trials so I can help a weaker in the faith, or out of the faith, to come to Him. All that I have faced, my father’s death when I was nine, my teenage fatherhood, my marriage struggles, even my Epilepsy all have led me to today. My faith in Christ has gotten me through my life. And because of this faith, I can help others dealing with these struggles today to endure. My story proves that they can get through their current situation and come out stronger on the other end—by the grace of God.
Rose Garden Faith
Whether we live a life of faith or a life without God in it, we are going to face ups and downs. With God in your life, you have hope. You have the assurance of peace, even in the middle of your struggles. Friends, I cannot explain it, but I have peace, even in the middle of my pits. Yes, there can be moments of tears, but after prayer and talks with those close to me who are believers, I am reminded that God is in control and that I do not have to worry. And will my external situation change? No, but my heart and my view of the external will change. I know that God has it, and I have nothing to fear as long as I allow Him to guide me.
There is a song that I am always led to when I fear. No doubt it is about another rose garden. It is titled, In the Garden, and it is one of my favorite songs of comfort. Please take a listen and allow it to comfort you when you struggle with walking an uncertain path. And as always, if you need prayer or have questions, you can message me anytime.
God bless my friends.