You have GOT to be kidding me!

A line from a favorite song from many, many years ago asked, “Why is everybody always pickin’ on me?”  Did you ever feel that way?  I know bad things, or unfortunate things, or sometimes downright evil things happen to all of us, but sometimes it seems like they all gang up and hit us at once.

I have to tell you, when it happens to me, I feel the same temptation as everyone else and want to respond with something akin to the title of this post.  And sometimes, I am ashamed to say, I succumb to the temptation.  How do we deal with things like this?

I know, you expect a preacher or a Bible class teacher to respond with a Scripture that will help get you through, but this is not church…it’s not a Bible class…this is real life! 

Well, first, we need to clear up the misconception that “church” and “Bible class” have nothing to do with “real life.”  Corporate worship and Bible study were never meant to be simply premiums on the Christian’s fire insurance policy.  They help us deal with real life, so that when you find yourself in a “when-it-rains-it-pours” situation, you are prepared to deal with it.

There is a reason that James wrote:  Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials…  The reason, according to the next verse is that such testing of the Christian’s faith produces endurance.  And the next verse says that such endurance will get us through to the end; to a perfect result, so that we are lacking in nothing (James 1:2-4).  And that phrase “lacking in nothing” reminds us of the value of God-breathed Scripture, which makes us “complete,” or “perfect, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16, 17). 

So, when those little (or big) things keep nipping away at you, or come at you so hard as to threaten to overwhelm you, remember that you have everything you need to stand firm and resist the temptation to feel sorry for yourself, or abandon your faith, or anything in between.  On a personal note, I would like to offer another tool to help.  I say “personal note” because I have found this to be particularly true in my own life, especially over the last few days, weeks and even months, so it is much on my mind.  Try focusing on someone else and how you can help them, rather than on your own problems.  I do not mean to ignore things in your own life that must be addressed, but rather stop focusing on your misfortune to the exclusion of all else.  Do what you can to alleviate your problem and leave the rest in the hands of God and then find someone else who needs help.  Use your energy to build up others rather than to focus on how miserable you are (which uses a tremendous amount of energy).  Invariably I have found this to be a great help in dealing with my own troubles.  You can read more about this particular point in the post “The Healing Power of Ministry” in this same blog.

Do not let the cares of this world, including problems that come through no fault of your own, weigh you down and overwhelm you.  Face them with the attitude of a Christian and the strength which God supplies (1 Peter 4:11; Ephesians 6:10).  He will get you through if you approach life the way He designed you to do, because He loves you.  And so, by the way, do I.

Donnie Bates