Even in the best of times, life can get you down. Perhaps that is why the Psalms are particularly suited to comfort people going through tough times. Who hasn’t been comforted by the verse “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (46:1)? Or “Cast your burden on the Lᴏʀᴅ, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved” (55:22)?
These words resonate when we encounter life’s uncertainties, and people turn to the Bible as a point of reference to make sense of difficult times. What the heart craves is not often found in the distraction of trendy magazines and light fiction kindly proffered by well-meaning souls. No, it is the prophecies of God’s Word that truly provide the solid promontory from which to evaluate and gain perspective on life.
Prophecy is a graphic reminder that experiences in our lives are more than arbitrary events that happen by coincidence. Prophetic passages underscore the fact that the scope of human history is orchestrated by the infinite God of creation and that every detail is important in the fulfillment of His will and purpose. How the events of individual lives mesh with the broader span of history is a mystery beyond our comprehension, but the assurance that they are part of God’s overall plan brings an eternal perspective that sees beyond immediate circumstances.
No matter how difficult things become for us personally, we can join with Job who, despite his anguish, could assert, “I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth; and after my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God” (Job 19:25–26).
At the end of Job’s ordeal, God spoke to him. In His monologue He reminded Job, “Everything under heaven is Mine” (41:11). “Then Job answered the Lᴏʀᴅ and said: I know that You can do everything, and that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You” (42:1–2).
God’s words to Job assure us that He is in control and that we can trust Him to fulfill His purposes in our lives. Our circumstances are not spiraling out of control. God has the reins. And even if we succumb to death from old age, illness, or persecution, our future is secure if we have put our trust in Him.
The book of Revelation is a confirmation that our confidence in God’s Word is justified. God will ultimately prevail. Christ will return in power and glory to rule the earth. Satan and the current evil world system will be destroyed. Everything responsible for the heartache, pain, and suffering in this world eventually will be eradicated.
We can take heart in the apostle Paul’s resounding anticipation of the moment when “the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord” (1 Th. 4:16–17).
There is so much more to life than what we actually experience; and God, who perfectly governs the entire scope of time and space, will accomplish what is best for us for our good and for His glory.