I have found out in my life that nothing comes easily. I must push myself to reach any goals. If I wanted to make a great grade in school, I not only had to study, but I had to rewrite my notes from the class to reinforce what I learned. Sometimes it gets rather discouraging to always have to work hard to reach a goal. Sometimes I find myself wanting to give up because I’m tired of having to always climb uphill, never reaching the summit. It is also tempting to think that others have it easier, but I must not let the few who “appear” to have an easy life cause me to become frustrated with my own.
No one out there has an easy life. One guarantee we have, other than death, is that we will face tribulation in this life (John 16:33). We all will face various trials, especially when we are trying to reach our goals. The thing is, we cannot let trials and setbacks win. We have to be willing to work hard.
We all should desire to grow in Christ, and with that, we must accept that, in order to grow, trials will happen. Trials are what refine and cleanse us to create a beautiful work (1 Pet 1:6-7). We can’t grow by getting everything we want. We can look at Israel to see that doesn’t work. All they had to do was follow God’s laws, and He would bless them. When they were abundantly blessed, they turned away from God. So, getting everything we want may be the one thing to make us fall short. He wants us to rely on Him, and I know from my own life, my reliance is definitely stronger when things aren’t going so well.
I believe that God the Father will test us sometimes to see if we are really serious in our endeavor and/or to make us strong enough to make it. Don’t look at trials as God’s punishment on you for making a mistake. Sometimes, yes, we are punished through trials for our mistakes, but I fully believe that many trials are learning tools. Let us not forget that the Father chastens those He loves, so that we don’t become lost (Heb 12:6-11).
Life isn’t easy, but it doesn’t mean that we won’t have our ups after we struggle a while. For example, Joseph didn’t become royalty immediately. He went through a lot of trials that actually created in him a great work. I admire Joseph greatly because I never see him complain despite being sold into slavery, wrongfully accused, and living years in prison, even though he didn’t do anything wrong. Yet, what seemed awful at the time was turned into greatness in the end (Gen 50:20).
What is so interesting to me about Joseph is the fact that he had grand expectations for his future, and he didn’t let his current circumstances cause him to doubt God. We must look to him as a good example to follow because sometimes we don’t reach our goals quickly. Sometimes we may even have detours before we reach our goals. It may take years, but we shouldn’t give up and doubt God. No, we must press forward and “fight the good fight of faith” (1 Tim 6:12), and remember the most important goal is making it into the Kingdom of God in the end.