“It Will Get Better”~What happens when it doesn’t? Consider Jacob and Joseph.

We often tell each other nice little statements when we are going through a hard time.  Something quick and easy that will fit on a Facebook post or in a text.

Nice thoughts and statements like “it will get better”  can be comforting for the moment, but they do not help us when we are alone and when the trial lingers.

Nice thoughts and statements rarely have a shred of biblical truth.  This is important to remember.  I have been to some dark places recently.  Some places where I wanted to walk into the ocean and let it take my life from me.

All the nice thoughts and statements were appreciated, but they didn’t sustain me through my trial, or deliver me from my dark places.  God’s truth did.

Jacob, Joseph and Egypt

Jacob’s son, Joseph, was sold into slavery by his older brothers.  Jacob’s son would never return to his home land alive.  His bones would return, but he would live the rest of his life in a foreign land.

I have a son who is in the Navy.  The first year he was away was excruciating.  Our relationship changed so much.  I had to get used to not being a part of his everyday life.  I had to get used to a weekly phone call.  His first tour overseas was difficult.  You mean I won’t get to see you for ten months?

I can’t imagine what it would be like to never have my son return home.  I also can’t imagine how callous it would be to tell Jacob, “it will get better”.  I can talk to my son on the phone, text him and connect via social media.  I can even jump on an airplane and go see him if I really want to, but to think he was dead when he was really alive seems unbearable.

Our yearning for our children never disappears.  Our yearning for our trial and suffering to end doesn’t dissipate.  We yearn for better times, joy and peace, and long for the days when we could laugh and be carefree.  Even though life moves on it doesn’t always get better or easier to handle loss, trial and suffering.

So what do we say?

What do we do when it doesn’t get better?  What do we say to others when they are going through a hard time?

We need to give people biblical hope and help.  They don’t need us.  They need God.  I need God.  God’s Word is the ONLY thing that can give us hope and truly help.  It’s what gives us strength to endure and patience in suffering.

Instead of saying “it will get better” say:

  • Trust.  I trust that even if this situation gets worse that God will provide all you need according to His riches and glory in Christ Jesus.  I trust that somehow God will bring joy and laughter to your life again.  I don’t know how or when, but I know we can trust Him.  He won’t let you down.
  • Oh my dear friend, I know that Jacob suffered greatly when he thought his son was dead.  Somehow God sustained him and he was able to continue his life.  We can see how God used Jacob to for a greater purpose than he could have imagined.  I know God can do something great in your situation.
  • I know God must seem unfair, uncaring and far from you, but the bible says that God is all knowing and all powerful.  He is in your trial.  He has the power to deliver you from it, and He knows how and when it will end.  Oh my friend let’s try to trust Him.  He helped Jacob, and He will somehow help you.
  • Keep going my friend.  God delivers us in His time.  Though we can’t see the end we are promised it will come.  No temptation has overtaken you except that is common to man.  I will walk through this with you, but we must keep walking.  God expects us to keep moving forward and to be obedient.  Let’s do this thing!

Life doesn’t always get better.  It often seems like it gets worse.  We aren’t promised life will get better, we are promised that God will be with us through it.  We are promised that God will not leave us or forsake us.  Now that’s a promise that helps me not walk into the ocean, and helps me live.

God’s view is of eternity, and with that view He says, this is good for you and for my glory. It really is. He will not let you linger.  He will deliver you.  You can count on His promises.  He has never let me down, and He will never let you down.

Marcy Pedersen

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