Life gets hard. You pray, but God doesn’t seem to answer. You are disappointed, and over time, disappointment becomes disillusionment.
Disillusionment turns to despair, and you feel like giving up. Honestly, you feel like giving up on God.
It happens to all of us. We have expectations; then God doesn’t meet them. Recently, I went on a ski trip with my son. The first day we sat down on a ski lift at 8:30 in the morning, and I prayed, out loud, “God, it’s a beautiful day.
Thank you so much for some time I get to spend with my boy. May there be no broken bones today.” But, three hours later, my son broke his collarbone.
Maybe you’ve ended up with a broken family or a broken spirit or a broken heart. Why didn’t God stop this from happening? Why didn’t he protect? Why didn’t God provide when you needed him most?
We Are Fragile and Easily Broken
I think for most, it’s not so much a problem with God’s existence; the problem is more with God’s absence. God wasn’t there when he was needed most, so it’s hard to believe he’s there at all.
Back in the first century, the Christians in Corinth were feeling this same way. They thought putting their faith in Jesus would make life easier, but the reality was very different. They were tempted to give up on God. Paul writes to them,
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. (2 Corinthians 4:7)
Paul says, “We are jars of clay.” Why? Because a jar made of clay is fragile. They break easily. That’s us. We are fragile, and we live in a hard world; we break easy.
When we do break, it can be easy to give up on God. People sometimes tell me, “I don’t believe in God.” I think for most, it’s not so much a problem with God’s existence; the problem is more with God’s absence. God wasn’t there when he was needed most, so it’s hard to believe he’s there at all.
Paul concedes that we are jars of clay, but then he gives the Corinthian Christians some truths to hold onto when life gets hard. He writes,
We are hard-pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. (2 Corinthians 4:8-9)
We Are Pressed But Not Crushed
Paul tells them, and us, “We are pressed but not crushed.” Yes, we experience pressure in this life. But pressure cannot crush us.
Back when Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, they were stuck. The Red Sea was in front of them and the pursuing Egyptian army behind them. They were pressed on every side. They were afraid. But God gives them a message,
“Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the LORD rescue you today.”
That’s precisely what happened. God fought for them and saved them, just in time.
If you feel pressed on every side, don’t be afraid. You will not be crushed. I’ve seen it happen so many times for so many people. Stand still. God will rescue you, just in time.