Lesson: When Our Lives Are Difficult

What do people want or need? (Mt 4)
a. food--daily needs, necessities, comfort
b. wealth & power--also control, respect, influence over other people, satisfaction
c. tempting God--spiritual guidance, sense of direction, desire to be like "God"

Temptation comes when our desires for these things are not satisfied or controlled, but this is not always the case.  Sometimes it's our need that causes us to be tempted.  Temptations always try to lead us away from our journey to God's kingdom, and therefore when it is our need rather than our desire that tempts us, we wonder why...

Why does God allow such difficulties to distract us?
a. It may be part of God's lessons for us.  Difficulties build our endurance and character so we can be better prepared for greater tasks ahead.
b. It may be part of God's greater plan.  Joseph couldn't figure out why he had to suffer until years later.
c. These things are part of life, and it is us who choose a special path in that maze of many paths.  As we decide on following God, other things in life become distractions and even temptations.

When things are difficult, we often wonder if God there or not.  Even if we know he is, he surely doesn't seem to be...
a. We can't see him until we stop looking to ourselves and others for answers and true consolation
b. Are we open to his guidance when he does give it?
 Is he there?  Why doesn't he do something?  Or could God be looking from afar with tears, knowing that we need that experience so we can grow up?  Is "tough love" better than constant watching?

How should we face these difficulties?
a. focus on the goal (2Tim 4:7-8) and keep on going [horse's eyecovers]
b. make the determination (Josh 24:15)--once you decide for sure, it will be easier; those who waiver tend to feel more pain during suffering since they still have some hope in other alternatives
c. know the love of God and others with the love of Christ, and take comfort in them

What can we learn from these difficulties?
a. Life is more than the three things we mentioned above.  Those who look beyond those things have a life more meaningful and fulfilling.  Those whose eyes are constantly on those things will never be satisfied.  When we are in need, look beyond those things and see the greater things of God's kingdom.
b. There are so much love around us--from God and those who follow him
c. God leads in mysterious ways--quiet whispers, hidden angels
d. True comfort comes from an understanding of God's plan and love in all these suffering.

Rm 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

This lesson was developed by George Huang.  Got a question or want to publish this lesson?  E-mail me.

Last updated: 2/10/2000