Today has been a tough day. Have you ever had one of those? As a pastor, I often find myself in a state of blessedness as I am reminded of what I get to do. I enjoy ministry and find it fulfilling at every turn. I typically wake up excited for the day which usually plays out in fun and pleasant ways. My staff is a joy to serve with and our church is filled with genuine people who love us and love the Lord! My days are, a lot of the time, like the hymn, “Count Your Blessings.” The chorus goes like this,
“Count your blessings name them one by one,
Count your blessings see what God has done.
Count your blessings….., name them one by one,
Count your many blessings, see what God has done.”
That said, there are still days like today. Today is just as fulfilling as any other, but it is still a difficult day. On four occasions, before lunch, I was reminded that we have a spiritual foe, an adversary who desires to hurt our children, who desires to hurt our families, who desires to hurt our marriages, who desires to hurt our churches. Yes, this enemy exists, and the Scripture labels him an accuser of the brethren (Zech. 3:1), a murderer, the father of lies (John 8:44), and a lion who, according to Peter, “prowls around… looking for someone to devour.” (1 peter 5:8)
I find it so easy on days like today to get defeated and then I am reminded by the Scripture that tells us how suffering should always be accounted for since it is a necessary part of God’s redemptive plan. The battle will always rage and that too is a positive indicator of the Lord’s work, for without it, opposition would move forth undetected. Peter gave us additional insight concerning this matter that would be worthwhile to take to heart,
“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed.” (1 Peter 4:12-13)
I believe on days like today it is good to be reminded of one thing. No situation is outside God’s reach. There has never been and will never be a situation that is hopeless for those who have placed their faith and trust in Jesus Christ. THIS IS HOWEVER AN IMPORTANT DISTINCTION THAT CANNOT BE OVERLOOKED. For those who do not have a saving knowledge of the truth, all is hopeless. How strange that we have many walking around that are not Christians full of hope and Christians who have made a profession struggling with the idea of hope altogether. The situation is backwards, and it sends a confusing message to the world.
I am thankful that today, a tough day, God has reminded me with His Holy Word that He is Sovereign and is working out His will in conformity with His purpose and to His glory. I can trust Him not only with my life, but with the lives of others also. When we have a tough day, let’s keep looking to the text. Let’s keep pointing others to the hope we have in Jesus Christ. The Christian doesn’t have merely a hope but a “living hope.” If today seems hopeless, ask yourself, “Have I been included with Christ?” If the answer is a solid yes, get in your Scripture right away and let the Lord encourage you!