Why does life have to be so hard sometimes?
We all have days where waking up and getting ready for the day feels more like walking through a foot of sludge than the gift that it is. When the tasks on our to-do list seem to balloon to twice their actual size, or when each word you put on the page takes effort, and by the time you’ve exhausted every drop of creativity and dedication, you’ve only got seventy-five words.
Just me? Well, perhaps the writing example is. But I know that life itself holds a vast arrangement of difficulties…
How are we supposed to be joyful in this?
Right now, I’m a second-year student at a writing trade school called The Company. I remember back at orientation, my mentor sat us down and told us about the program we would enter. He talked about what we’d be doing, the things we’d be learning, and then he told us something about the program I wasn’t expecting.
“It’s supposed to be hard.”
Not necessarily the most encouraging thing to hear before you embark on a new adventure, right? It’s not what I wanted to hear at that moment.
But it stuck with me.
Flash forward to six months into the program, and I was starting to understand how difficult a task I’d taken on. I still enjoyed it, don’t get me wrong. But as the winter months rolled in and the work began to pile up around me, I couldn’t help but think how difficult life had gotten.
You see, I’m not just being trained to write at The Company. I could learn that at any online school or college. I’m learning how to be a writer. I’m learning what about my character is flawed, what doesn’t serve me in a professional and spiritual capacity, and where I need to grow to succeed.
And it’s hard.
Sometimes, when life becomes difficult, and things get complicated, we question whether God wants us to be doing them. Surely, if it were God’s plan, He would make the path easy to climb, wouldn’t He?
Unfortunately for us, that’s not promised. The opposite is promised. We’ll face adversity, trials, and persecution. We have an enemy. Someone is actively thinking about how to take you, a soldier and child of Christ, down.
So, how do we have Joy in this? Here are three thoughts that have helped me preserver, and hopefully, they can help you, too.
1. Just because it’s hard doesn’t mean it’s wrong.
Sometimes, when things are hard, we equate that to mean we’re doing something wrong. And sometimes we are. Using a hammer to screw in a nail will be challenging because you should use a screwdriver.
But sometimes, the wood is just tough. Sometimes, you could be using all the right tools in all the right ways, and it’s still going to be complicated.
So take courage. Just because it’s hard doesn’t mean it’s wrong.
2. God is with you.
A couple of years ago, I was sick and dealing with intense chronic pain. Every single day was a struggle to get out of bed. My bones ached, and my joints held a constant sharp pain. I lived off of painkillers, did every kind of stretch you can imagine to try and help, and was constantly at the doctor.
That was hard. Life was hard.
But every single day, I knew I needed Jesus to get through it. And every single day, he showed up.
I would never want to be in that place again, with chronic pain. But it taught me something so valuable. It taught me to rely on Jesus for every ounce of energy I had.
Where can you rely on Jesus in your life right now? Press into the Word and your relationship with Him when things are hard. He’s there, in the muck, trudging along beside you.
3. If the Enemy is attacking you, you’re going the right way
Not everything is Spiritual Warfare. Sometimes, life is challenging because of the natural consequences of our actions. If I don’t ever get my oil changed, and one day my car breaks down, it’s probably not because a demon snuck under the hood and messed things up.
That being said… sometimes it is spiritual warfare. You see, the enemy plays his hand when he comes against us. If he’s coming against us, we know he’s upset by what we’re doing. We know he’s scared. After all, why would he make a plan against us if he didn’t need to?
Life is hard. But just because it’s hard doesn’t mean we can’t be joyful.
Just because it’s difficult doesn’t mean it’s wrong, and God is there with you every step of the way. So, if you’re doing something hard right now that God has called you to do, keep going. You’re doing great.
You know what else is hard? Being joyful! Sign up for my free joy-votional below!