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Trials and struggles of life

by Rev. Steve Conwell

Why do bad things happen to good people?  I may not have the answer, but I do have some HOPE for you.  There are two illustrations that help me with the struggles of life.  The first is an artist who paints a masterpiece using contrast to create the beauty of the painting.  The use of different colors brings the images to life whereas the use of sharp and bold lines show each object’s distinctions.  The continuity of the masterpiece flows and blends throughout the artwork.  Most would prefer their lives portrayed on a blank canvas with all good and no bad.  May I remind you, anyone can paint a snowball in a snowstorm, but our Lord wants our life portrait to be a masterpiece of beauty.

The second illustration to help with the pains of life is a symphony.  The master composer will use all the instruments of sound to produce beautiful music. The conductor will move from the bold sounds of the brass to the soft sweet sounds of the flute, the thunder of the percussion to the gentle strings of the violin. He will pit one sound against the opposite for contrast, noting the distinctions of each instrument, which leads to the beautiful finished product. We would miss out on the beauty of life if we had only one instrument of sound.  Our life’s music would sound like a monotonous hum. 

God gives us neither all good nor all bad in our lives.  Solomon, the wisest man to ever live, wrote in the end of his time that life is filled with contrast, “…To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: …a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance, …a time to get, and a time to lose; …etc.” 

The Lord in His wisdom gives us neither all good nor all bad but instead a mixture that matures us.  The struggle can make us stronger, the bad can bring out the good, the physical sickness can lead to a spiritual healing, the tears can bring rejoicing and our losses can become our gains.  Remember God’s Word says, “…to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of promise for the spirit of heaviness.”

(Steve Conwell, Pastor of Maranatha Baptist Church in Farmville, graduated from Liberty University and Liberty Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity degree in 1981. He is regularly heard mornings on WFLO and WVHL in a one-minute program known as “A Thought For Today.”)