Has life always been good to you or do you live in quiet desperation?

Donald L. Norbie, Greeley, Colorado, USA [SEE PROFILE BELOW]

Category: Exposition

Precious Seed

Life often does not turn out as one had hoped

It has been said that many people live their lives in quiet desperation. Youthful idealism has this glowing vision of the future, coloured with radiant optimism. And then real life comes along! At a fiftieth high school reunion a woman asked me, ‘Don, has life been good to you?’ No one had ever asked me that before. I had to think a minute. Then I said, ‘No, life has not always been good, but the Lord has always been good’. Tragedies do come in life; there can be gut-wrenching heartaches. Your marriage may fall apart. Your spouse confronts you with the words, ‘I no longer love you, I have found some one else; I want a divorce’! It is as if you were kicked in the stomach. Your whole world falls apart. Or your teenage daughter comes home and confesses with tears, ‘Mum and Dad, I am pregnant!’, and the man involved has no desire to marry her. After years of faithful service, your employer calls you into his office, and announces, ‘I am sorry but we will have to let you go’. A job that you thought was secure has vanished like the morning mist. Or the doctor tells you quietly, ‘I am sorry to tell you but your wife has terminal cancer. We can do nothing for her. Take her home and love her while she is still here’. And you now have to go through the agony of seeing the one who has been a faithful wife and borne your children waste away and finally die.

Life demands a response, both from us and others

No, life is not always good to us. But how do we respond? We may become angry and bitter, angry with God for allowing this to happen. With Job’s wife we may cry out, ‘Curse God and die!’, Job 2. 9. We may enter into a deep valley of depression, drowning in the depths of self-pity. A lady friend of ours died suddenly at home. She was a dear Christian. Her husband said, ‘Well, she has her wish now; she has wanted to die’. Grief over her children had tormented her soul for years. She just wanted to die and to go to be with the Lord.

No, life is not always good nor pleasant. Hopefully there will be Christians who will rally around you to sustain you with their love and prayers. They have come to know ‘the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted of God’, 2 Cor. 1. 3-4. If any part of the human body knows an injury, the whole body musters its resources to bring healing. So it should be with the local body of Christians, the assembly. We are exhorted, ‘Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ’, Gal. 6. 2.

When all else fails God is the Ultimate Resource in every event

But then ultimately we must turn to God Himself, cry out to Him and cling to Him. David returned to find his home village in smoking ruins, his family and goods plundered. It was a low point for him. ‘Now David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God’, 1 Sam. 30. 6. Jehovah was his God and he would claim His love, protection and blessing. David could say: ‘Preserve me, O God, for in you I put my trust’, Ps. 16. 1. At times life can be confusing and painful. Again Asaph could write, ‘When I thought how to understand this, it was too painful for me: until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I understood their end’, Ps. 73. 16-17.

Life is an issue we need to live with

The time comes when one must accept the reality of the tragedy in life and go on living. Some seek to escape the reality of their lives and withdraw into their own heads and live in a world of fantasy. Such may end up in mental hospitals, useless to God and to man. We must face reality and think truthfully, Phil. 4. 8. Begin to live for others and forget yourself. Then you will begin to heal from your wounds. There are many lost, hurting people around us. Reach out to them. Your suffering has uniquely equipped you to help others, and remember our God keeps our tears in His bottle and one day will wipe away all tears from our eyes. Our Father will welcome all His children home and kiss their tears away. Thanks be to God!

AUTHOR PROFILE: Donald Norbie is in fellowship with the assembly in Greeley, Colorado, and is a commended full-time worker. A regular contributor to Precious Seed and other assembly magazines his ministry is widely appeciated throughout N. America and the UK.

There are 26 articles in
ISSUE (2004, Volume 59 Issue 4)

Biblical Forgiveness

Celebrating 100 years of service for The Western Counties and South Wales Evangelisation Trust

Choice Gleanings


An Experience in Open Air Gospel Testimony

Heroes of the Faith

The Fruit of the Spirit is

The God of all Comfort - Reflections on Isaiah

The God of all Grace

Who made God?

Gospel Work and other Activities

Has life always been good to you or do you live in quiet desperation?

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures. Psalm 23. 2

He Opened to us the Scripture

Hezekiah’s Confession

Is it right for a Christian to drink alcohol?

A Life of Faith and Works

A History of the Assembly atManor Road Hall, Guildford, England

Peter’s ‘Precious Points’

The Poetry

Power and Freedom by the Spirit

Red Sky at Night

Reverence in the Local Assembly - An Important and Increasing Need

Studies in 2 Thessalonians

Windows on Worship

Wise words from the book of Proverbs

This article is not part of a series

There are 41 articles by this author

Schooled In The Assembly

Job’s Concern...A Timely Word For Christian Parents

A Perverted Gospel?

What Is Your Motivation For Serving God?

Will You Die Well

What isLove?

Has life always been good to you or do you live in quiet desperation?

Is ThereTruth?

The Passion of the Christ

Blurring the Distinctives

Too Hard!

Buy the Truth

The Early Church

Is there Forgiveness?

What is this business about Deacons

The Attire of an Harlot

Harmony in God’s Family

Faith for the Work

Do You Love God?

Why Does an Assembly Die?

The Problem of The Problem of Obesity

The Devotion of Youth

Decidiing with peace

How do you do the Breaking of Bread

Balancing Your Dispensations

The Character of worship

Is The Lord Enough?

Spiritual Compromise

So What is Wrong?

A Time to Weep

Sensual Religion

Should Christians observe the Sabbath?

The Healing of the family

How important is the Assembly?

Flee Lust

So, You want to be Contemporary?

The Servants of God

A Holy Man of God

The Son of Man

The Power of Choice

An Anchor for the Soul