When You Think It Can’t Get Much Worse
I have lost count of those days in my life when I thought that things couldn’t get much worse. The issues we can blame such emotional trauma on are legend. We all have our lists of those special agonies that trigger our deepest fears. Even though I consider myself a committed Christian, I was often tricked into the scenario of thinking “this is the worst.” I’m sure you’ve been there.
My deliverance came a few years ago when, once again, I gave the “big whine”: “It can’t get much worse!” Then, in God’s timing and my next lesson to “Grow up!”, the Holy Spirit addressed me with the question, “Why do you think this is happening?” My first three responses always centered on possible reasons without recognizing they were each only partial answers. I would blame my own foolishness, or the condition of people in our fallen culture, or, if I was feeling especially holy and saintly, a demonic activity. All of those answers are woefully inadequate in themselves. A mature disciple grounded primarily in the truth of the Cross realizes immediately why those “worse moments” happen. God allows it! In fact, nothing happens to us anywhere or at anytime that God doesn’t allow.
Because He has promised that nothing happens that we can’t overcome by yielding to His truth, whatever happens to us is always secondary to His primary purpose of transformation in us. That purpose is for us to prove to ourselves, to others, and to the Father that our belief in Messiah’s power and promises exceed any problems or perplexities that might come upon us while we walk the earth. If there is anything the Scriptures teach us, it is that the Lord Jesus is in the business of using the worst that goes on down here to show us the best that is coming to us up there! To truly believe this reality will enable us to bounce back quickly from every adversity and then overcome it in joy. The speed of our overcoming is in direct proportion to the speed of our believing.
With this in mind, I offer you the following little phrase whenever the world seems to fall in on you: “The worse it gets, the better it gets if you get in on what God is up to.” That “bullet of truth”, my friend, will fire from any gun you load it in! We must load our minds and hearts with this truth if Christ is to be revealed through our lives.
We must be hit hard with how weak we really are if we are to learn how powerful the Father really is. He takes us to the brink of the worst but keeps us from falling off the cliff! Only when we experience what Christ died for can we begin to be filled with all He lived for. The worst things that happen to us are all invitations to discover the best things that are waiting for us! You need to know that the worst pressure of my life came in Asia. I was squeezed and in despair so much that I wanted to die! I felt it was all over! But suddenly, the Lord let me in on His little secret: the worst was for my best! I must learn to quit listening to myself and turn my expectations over to God’s resurrection power. He brings life out of death every time I listen to Him! (HDM)
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. —2 Corinthians 4:7-12
We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. —2 Corinthians 1:8