There comes a time when you’ve lost so much, or just enough, that you wonder what the point is of even living anymore. It’s different for every person, but when it comes you’ve reached the end - or very nearly the end - of your rope. You need a knot to stand on.
That point could be at the death of a loved one who gave your life meaning and purpose. It could be after a series of losses, or after hardship has plagued your comings and goings for months or even years. The enemy plants this seed of thought that goes something like this: “If this is life then what’s the point?” “If this is as good as it’s going to get then why bother?”
While I’m not going to use this time, mostly because I don’t have enough, to explain why bad things happen to good people, there are a few good books out there to help you work through that question and they’re listed at the end of this blog.
I am, however, going to list 5 reasons why, though things are difficult - even unbearable, it is worth it to continue moving forward, with eyes up and on the Lord. There is a point to your keeping going, and there are things you can do to get from here to the other side. The other side isn’t full of rainbows and ponies, but it is brighter, it has direction and it is not without hope.
5 Reasons to Bother When Things Get Tough
You’re still breathing. “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6, ESV). You won’t be completed until the end, but simply by being born God began a good work in you, and that work isn’t finished yet.
The clay always looks really messy and ugly in the middle of the process of being formed. It’s not until it’s been through the fire does it come out looking beautiful. I always say if you’re still breathing then God still has a plan for your life - you’re clearly still breathing, so there’s still a plan.
There’s only one you. “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well” (Psalm 139:13-14). Your simple existence is a wonderful work of God, no matter what’s happened to you or what you’ve done. We’re always in the refining process, but you in your very existence is a beautiful creation.
A later passage in the same chapter of Psalms reads, “Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them (v.16, emphasis mine). There is a specific plan for you that only you were designed and built to fulfill. No one else can do what God has ordained for you to do.
The “You” you want to be is in a process - let it develop. It takes time. “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18). Don't give up in the middle of the transformation.
Believe it or not, there’s a plan for your life. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11). “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). Let the plan unfold. We’re never told the whole story from the first page of a book, or even the first five minutes of a movie. Don’t let impatience ruin the experience of living out the journey.
God loves you enough to give you a choice. It's yours. “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you,” (James 4:7-8a). God will not force you into submission to him. That defeats the whole purpose. You have to choose who you’re going to submit to in this life: God’s truth or Satan’s lies. Who you decide to believe will ultimately decide the mentality with which you’ll face this life.
That being said, go do something healthy and good. Pour a glass of iced tea and sit on the porch in the sunshine. Snuggle with your dog or cat. Go on a hike or trail ride. Hug someone you love - and not the two-second hug that leaves you wanting more. Go HUG that person! Tackle them with love. Watch a funny animal video on YouTube or turn up the radio too loud and sing along.
You’re still breathing. God does still have a plan. Your existence isn’t for nothing. You’re loved, and you have a purpose.
Books for help through difficult times: Where is God When It Hurts by Philip Yancey, A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis, Healing the Wounded Heart by Dan B. Allender