When things are going well, it’s easy. Many don’t believe they need anything or anybody. Including committed Christians, people think things are good when things are good. If you’re like me, you believe everything happens for a reason, according to God’s grand plan. It’s easy to have that outlook when things are going well.

All that sounds great, but how do you fare during the tough times? What happens when things get challenging? It could be something at work. A health issue…with yourself or someone you love. Maybe even a relationship problem. What’s your outlook in those tough times?

Challenges can be viewed as more global things as well. One example is what’s going on in our country. It’s difficult to see the dramatic increase in violent crime, significantly rising prices, and small businesses struggling. Add to these all the conflicting messaging about COVID, threats to our civil liberties (including religious freedom) lawlessness going unchecked, illegal drugs coming across our boarder, mass censorship, and politicians on both sides of the isle who are complicit. If it weren’t so sad and alarming, it would be laughable, i.e., the new belief by some that men can get pregnant.

What’s God’s plan in the above? I’m not sure and I can’t wait to ask our Lord one day, along with many other things. I do have a couple thoughts. When as a society we have so dramatically stopped living the Christian life, is this what happens? It seems that truth no longer has meaning…is this what we get? Is God sending us a message?

An observation…when 9/11 occurred, Christians flocked to Church. Catholics were lined up to go to confession. Studies showed that statistically speaking, people prayed more and more people prayed. I know in my own life, experiencing tragedy is what brought me to my encounter with Jesus Christ…that which changed my life forever.

A Personal Issue

Or there are those personal things. I’ve had a health issue of late. Nothing too traumatic, my wife and I are concerned about where my symptoms may be leading. Over the last several months, I’ve developed a constant tightness in my hands, with occasional cramping. Although I can certainly live with the current situation, it continues to get worse. Not painful, it is affecting my grip. I’m still able to exercise daily, but I feel it. For the first time, it was bothersome when on my computer the other day. Still pursuing a diagnosis, the medical community hasn’t been able to figure it out. 

I’m sure there are others with much bigger issues than mine. In fact, I personally know several. For all of us…”why”? How are these trials, health related or otherwise, part of God’s grand plan? Remember, I’m one of those people who believe everything happens for a reason. 

Living a Life of Gratitude

You know my story and the tragedy I’ve endured. I am thankful for all of it because I know I wouldn’t’ be who I am today without experiencing those things. I live in a place of gratitude. My version of “gratitude” is believing that all things happen for a reason. I believe that for all things, the big and small, i.e., my hands. 

Jesus died a torturous death (for our sins). Given that He, our Savior, suffered tragedy, we shouldn’t expect otherwise. We’re told in Scripture that life will provide us with challenges. It won’t be easy. It’s not easy. 

Here’s what I know. Life, with its ups and downs, is better with God than without Him. I would encourage all of us to stay close to our Lord. Be prayerful. Go to Church. Maintain good, supporting relationships. Continue to discern the reasons why things happen in your life, whatever the impact. Use all to help you be a better version of yourself, for the glory of God…as difficult as that can be at times. I’ve said it before, “God loves you more than you’ll ever know, no matter what you’ve ever done”.  

As always, please feel free to contact me at Mark@MarkJosephMinistries.com with questions, comments, concerns, challenges, or prayer requests.  

God Bless you on your Path to Peace, Joy, and Fulfillment!!!

God made you for GREATNESS!!!

Mark Joseph

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