ONE thing I learned in the second half of 2014 — a previous theory class, taken over the previous four years, given its season of practice — was the worse life got, the more I was to be encouraged. Not that I would be encouraged previously. But during the last part of 2014, with its trinity of trial, I was mindful of the tricks the devil loves to play on those who would be faithful, but don’t have the heart for it.
So many times I have failed the Lord. But during that time period of five months of testing I was able to see the trials as they came as the tests they were. When you sense that things are so bad that they can only get worse, you begin to expect the worst, even if you look for the best. And things getting worse doesn’t affect you.
Somehow there were so many off-the-wall events, each week littered with them, that I came to expect that there would be more. And when they did come it was almost as if I were waiting, with the Lord, and prepared to say, “Bring it on!” Though experience has taught me never to pray for testing.
I don’t write this for my own ego. I genuinely experienced this grace because I believed I was being carried by others’ prayers and my own obedient faith. I haven’t always been as obediently faithful before or since. In fact, I often haven’t. I have gotten discouraged when life seemed to be trending south. Instead, I ought to have become encouraged — God is with me! If I can meet discouraging circumstances with a sense for what is occurring in the moment (It’s a test!) then I can be encouraged — God is with me and he won’t let me go.
The worse life gets the more we ought to be encouraged.
That is because life involves many tests, but with each test comes the Presence of the Lord that will never let us go.
The worse things get the more glory goes to God when we respond in faithful obedience. The harder life is the better the chance that God might look good because we grin and bear it.
All we have to do is remember something important. We have to get over our discouragement. That’s all.
When we face severe discouragement we must remember that’s the time we need to know God is close. We may smile wryly.
The more life is against us, the more God is for us.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.