The world would never agree with this assessment. The world knows about anguish and trouble. But the world also knows how to shift blame, deny responsibility, despise and ridicule godliness. St. Paul says it well, “Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.” (Romans 1:32).
In our darkest moments we might be tempted to abandon God’s ways. But more often difficulties will bring us to God. As Paul says, “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (Romans 5:3-5).
More often we will turn away from God’s laws and commandments in times of favor and happiness. In these times we can easily forget our need for God. In the sweet moments we often do ignore God, and substitute a self-defined sense of good and evil for the true good and evil that God has revealed in his word.
So what are we to do? Shall we seek difficulty and trouble so that we realize how good God’s ways truly are? May it never be! Days of happiness and delight are a gift from God. In these times we must remember to thank God and remember that he is the source of all good things.
As we consider God’s commandments during those difficult times, we can delight that some things never change. God’s word, will, nature, and ways are immutable. He is constant in his love, truth, righteousness, and faithfulness. There is never a bait and switch with God. No matter what may be happening to or around us, we can delight in his decrees for they are the path of life.
Thank God that Jesus walked that path perfectly – not only in times of difficulty and trouble, but also in times of favor and joy. He is our perfect righteousness, our hope and our peace. We may sometimes waver about loving God’s commands. Who has never thought that the commandments of God deprive us of fun we would otherwise experience? But Jesus never did. And the goodness of God’s commandments is not sustained by our obedience. Our obedience will lead us to discover just how good God’s ways and commandments truly are.