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September 22, 1997

Why Me, Lord? (Part One)

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Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. JAMES 1:2-3
It may be a blister on your finger—or an aneurysm in your artery. It may be that you’ve lost your wallet—or you’ve lost your business. It may that your plans for the day have been ruined—or your hopes for a lifetime have been crushed.
One thing is certain: Life delivers tough blows. Every day, every week, and every month we face the possibility of experiencing difficult circumstances and tough times. These are natural and inevitable elements of our lives. Simply being alive means we will face trials, be disappointed, and encounter hardship and hurdles.
It was family patriarch Joseph P. Kennedy who reportedly first said, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” California pastor and author Robert Schuller added, “Tough times never last, but tough people do.” However, centuries earlier, the apostle James revealed the best approach to the trials of life: When the going gets tough, the tough turn to God.
We who are followers of Jesus need to focus on that thought from James and incorporate it into our perspective on life. God uses difficult times to develop character in us. Even after we’ve learned that, we still ask, Why me? However, it’s not just “me.” It’s every one of us. Pain and hardship are instruments God uses to shape us at our core. Knowing His purpose for tough times doesn’t answer every cry or erase every pain, but it does help us grapple with the reality of hardship.
No matter how unfair and random our troubles may appear to be, God is not absent, removed, or disconnected from our pain. He is still tending to His universe at large—and to each individual in particular. When we hurt, God knows and feels. We are not alone.
So what do you do when the going gets tough?

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