So I’m thinking maybe my next book title should be, “Life is difficult, faith doesn’t change that, love wins anyway…”
I know so many people who are dealing with heavy, discouraging, “nobody deserves this” challenges that are persistent and overwhelming. The death of loved ones, devastating health issues, grievous hurt in relationships, financial stress… and more.
Yet they hold on to faith, and they worship God faithfully, and they commit themselves to living as disciples, and they take hold of the promise that, “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me” (Psalm 23Psalm 23).
Because God doesn’t arrange a detour, or build a bridge over the valley, but simply promises to walk with us on the way through.
I admire these people so much. You see, there is a whole religion out there that counts money, and physical health, and ease of living as barometers of real faith and evidences of God’s blessing; all we have to do is believe well enough, and leverage the right “words of faith” to make sure God shows us “favor.”
Then there is Christianity. Jesus promises challenge, trouble, persecution, strife, hardship and more. But he also promises, “I will be with you always;” he promises peace (“not as the world gives”), forgiveness, reconciliation with God, abundance, and a new kind of life.
Most telling are the words of Paul at the end of Romans 8: “In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Nothing can separate us from God’s love. Nothing. I want to remind everyone that our faith is the kind of faith where God promises to be with us right in the middle of all the crap life throws our way, that Jesus doesn’t magically fix this world but hugs us through each difficult day, that being a Christian doesn’t give us a free pass but instead means that we get to participate in God’s initiatives of grace, and healing, and mercy, and restoration…
God promises to be with us right in the middle of all the crap life throws our way, Jesus doesn’t magically fix this world but hugs us through each difficult day, being a Christian doesn’t give us a free pass but instead means that we get to participate in God’s initiatives of grace, and healing, and mercy, and restoration…
This life that God offers us through Christ is not easy, and it still means we live in a broken world. But it is wonderful, it is loaded with meaning and purpose, and it is absolutely what we are called to engage as Children of the Living God.
“Life is difficult, faith doesn’t change that, love wins anyway…” – DEREK
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.