Column: Tough times never last, tough people do


Commentary by Michael VandenBerg

A dear friend of mine eased the hearts and minds of an entire community, suffering through the massive unemployment in Flint Michigan in the 1980’s when he told them, “Tough times never last, but tough people do”. (Robert H. Schuller)

What he was saying is that there has never been a problem that the world has faced, not recession, not crime or even war that lasts forever and if you are a tough minded person, you can outlast the problems that surround you. Are you facing marital problems, then stay focused and remain tough and you will not only survive but you will thrive. Are you facing layoff from your job, death of a child, illness, or even death, then know that if you stay focused and remain tough, you will not only survive but you will thrive.

The Apostle Paul said something similar when he told his listeners that he had learned to be content in all situations, whether rich or poor, sick or healthy, facing abundance or death, he had found the secret to contentment. Notice that he does not say that he is happy in all situations. Happiness is an emotion, contentment relies on the will. The Apostle Paul and Robert Schuller both had found that when you keep your focus on the things of God and remain steadfast, you will both survive and thrive with God’s help.

So does this mean that if I believe I will never suffer again? Absolutely not! Does it mean I will not have to face death? NO! What it does mean is that when disaster comes, when death is imminent, staying focused on God will see you through. You see, we were created and serve a God who loves to see us through. He is a “THROUGH” God. Psalm 23 says that “even though I walk ‘through’ the valley of the shadow of death, I will not fear, for God is with me. WOW! What comfort that provides. What peace we can have! What contentment there is in knowing that the God of all creation, the God who called everything out of nothing, loves you. And how do I  know that God loves you and me? John the Apostle said God loved the world so much that he was willing to pay the price for all our sin and brokenness with the life of His own son so that we could be with Him forever. Now that’s love.

So now is the time to get prepared for the difficult times that are coming and get to know the God who loves you.