by Tyler Quillet
There are moments in life that leave you thinking, “this is the worst thing that could possibly happen to me”. And, deep down, in the moment, you believe that to be true. But, as life goes on, there are new and different evils that will come your way and say, “you haven’t seen anything yet.”
As if cancer, the loss of a loved one, infertility, job loss, the trauma of abuse, financial strain or a debilitating disease wasn’t enough. The thought when you endure incredible pain often is, “things certainly couldn’t get any worse than they are right now”. Then, BAM! A new curveball thrown your way, and one that has left you standing there, shaking your head in disbelief.
Have you been there? I have. Multiple times in my life I have experienced this. As a matter of fact, I’m there now. Looking around and thinking, “can this even be real?” “This kind of stuff happens to other people, happens on the news, happens to strangers. Not us.” And yet, here we are. Can you empathize? Have you been there? Are you there right now? Where it seems like everything is crashing in, nothing seems to be going the way it should, and life has thrown you too many curveballs to count? Are you left staring into space, thinking, “how can this be?”
Can I share with you two simple words that can transform your heart and mind as you face difficulty? Take heart. I’m not saying, “you got this”, because, well, you don’t. I’m not going to tell you to hunker down and fight. I’m especially not going to tell you that this season will pass. It may be a while. But, I will simply say this. Take heart. Why? Because those are Jesus’ words to you.
In John 16:33, Jesus tells us that we WILL face hardship, suffering and trouble. It’s part of living on this broken earth. But, He doesn’t stop there. Take heart, because He has overcome the world. You see, in the end, Jesus wins. The end of the story has already been told. As a Christ-follower, you know what’s ahead. That’s where you find your hope. Jesus wins and a day is coming where there will be no more sickness, pain, financial troubles, job loss, cancer, death, infertility, broken relationships, abuse, or sin. So, take heart.
What does taking heart look like, because certainly that’s easier said than done, right? To take heart means to be optimistic. To take heart means to be encouraged. To take heart means to be courageous. Boiled down, to take heart in Jesus means to trust Him. To trust Him in the midst of this difficult season because you know what’s coming. You know where your eternity lies. You know He is good. You know He is faithful. You know He is merciful. You know He loves you. Your hope lies in Him.
You have two choices in the midst of hardship. Being overcome with hope or being overcome with despair. Really, it just depends on where your heart is focused. Focus on the difficulty, you’ll more than likely be overcome with despair. Focus on Jesus, and you’ll be overcome with hope. As a dad, husband, grandpa, son, friend, co-worker, and more, you have a lot of people watching how you respond to your difficulty. More than likely, they’ll follow your lead. Lead them to Jesus as you cling to Him yourself.
This season isn’t going to win. Your circumstances don’t stand a chance of winning. This difficulty you face, although burdensome, cannot stand up against our God. He will give you what you need to endure. You keep trusting. You keep remembering who has already won this battle. You keep clinging to the hope you have in what He has done, is doing, and will do. Take heart, my friend. Jesus wins.
Tyler Quillet is the Discipleship Strategist for the Custom Bible Study team at LifeWay Christian Resources. He lives in the Nashville, TN area with his incredible wife, Cathie, and two boys, Cylas and Bowen. Tyler also speaks, writes, and coaches alongside Cathie as they pour into and love on the infertile community through Cathie’s “The Missing Peace Project”. Tyler previously spent 15 years as a pastor and is passionate about serving churches and pouring into church leaders in a variety of ways.