Good News Translation Everything written in the Scriptures was written to teach us, in order that we might have hope through the patience and encouragement which the Scriptures give us.
ESV - 4 For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
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First, I would say that (as revealed in the entirety of the Bible) there is a God who is in ultimate control of all things, and who also loved us enough to sacrifice His own Son so that we could spend eternity with Him. Next, it would be because even the longest human life span is insignificant when viewed in the context of eternity. Thus, any "hard seasons" that we experience in this life and world are (as the Bible says in Romans 8:18) not worth comparing with the glory that awaits Christians in eternity. Also, we have the historical event of Christ's resurrection as the testament to the reality of that future life and world. In addition, Christ Himself gives us hope through the adversity, temptations, and sufferings that He Himself endured and overcame during His earthly life, because they enable Him to totally identify with us in our hard seasons, and thus also to provide the supreme example to us of how to address them without falling into sin, as noted in Hebrews 4:15-16. Finally, we have the living presence of the Holy Spirit within us continually to enable us to always view our hard seasons in the perspective of all the above considerations.
The entire Old Testament provides many examples of hope during the hard times of life. Consider this passage in 1 Corinthians 10:1-13. “For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered in the wilderness. Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: “The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry.” We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did—and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died. We should not test Christ, as some of them did—and were killed by snakes. And do not grumble, as some of them did —and were killed by the destroying angel. These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come. So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” Why do Christians experience hard times? I believe there are at least 3 reasons. 1. We live in a fallen world filled with evil and wickedness, controlled by our enemy Satan, and he wants every human being to suffer horribly and then be destroyed without experiencing God’s saving grace. 2. Christians indulge the desires of their flesh which leads them into sin, which results in hard times like conflict and suffering 3. God allows us to experience hard times to refine our faith and mould our character to resemble Christ. The refiner’s fire removes the impurities from our lives. But God is faithful. He promises to always love us, protect and defend us, lead and guide us, train and equip us, deliver us from all evil, give us an abundantly fulfilling and deeply satisfying life. Jesus said “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world (John 16:33). Every time we focus on our relationship with Jesus, the hard times lose their power to harm us.
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