Hard With God versus Hard Without God
There are two different types of hardship in life. Hardship with God and hardship without God.
Being a follower of Christ is a hard path. He warned us of trials and tribulations but promised to never leave us or forsake us. This is the hardship we can expect and within which we can remain joyful.
Picture Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane sweating drops of blood and pleading with the Father for relief. He was facing execution by the cross, shame, humiliation and bearing of sin. Yet he knew there was joy afterwards. The Father was in this. He had a plan, and in the end, he would raise Jesus up to be glorified. Knowing this, Jesus humbled himself to God’s plan.
There is another kind of hard. The kind where, although God may be present, we have not invited him into it because it is our own path.
In the Old Testament, we read about King Zedekiah, who ruled over Judah. During his reign, the Babylonians attacked and laid siege to Jerusalem. As they erected siege ramps, the king sought God’s counsel. The people were facing starvation, pain, suffering and humiliation. Afterwards, the Babylonians would annihilate the city and kill or enslave all the inhabitants. God was not for Judah; He was against them. In the end, King Zedekiah refused God’s counsel (to surrender to the Babylonians).
There is a hard with God and a hard without God. We are wise to know the difference and when to invite God into our plans.