When, Not If

This was originally posted 4-12-2012, a few days after we had received some heart-breaking news. I thought about it again this week because my husband is preaching through the book of James, and this past Sunday we walked through James 1:2-4: My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be 2perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”


More and more I am deeply troubled by the popular teaching in churches (I would presume mostly in America) that because we are Christians, we can expect the sweet life. A big house, with an equally big bank account. Great health. No problems with the people around us.


The teaching also says that if you don’t have all of the above, it is simply because you don’t have enough faith.

 Tell that to the mama in Haiti who can’t feed her babies.

Tell that to the missionary in Sudan who is persecuted for his faith each day.

Tell that to the young girl in Cambodia who is being sold into the sex trade.

Tell that to the mama in America who just found out her baby won’t look like other babies and will encounter numerous medical issues.

 Notice that in the verses in Isaiah above, God says

WHEN you pass through the waters,
WHEN you pass through the rivers,
WHEN you walk through fire.

It doesn’t say “IF.”


As much as I would like it to be, this world isn’t perfect. Because of the existence of sin in the world, things will not go perfectly. We’ll lose a job. We’ll have a sticky relationship with family members. Someone (maybe even us) we love will get cancer.

I’m not saying all of this to depress you. I just want to share what the Bible really says about hardship in the life on a believer. And I also want to encourage that someone who may be reading and is going through a hard time. Maybe someone has told you that it’s because you don’t have enough faith. That just isn’t so.

Jesus, whose faith surpassed all of ours, still had hardship while on earth. Why do we expect our lives will be worry free? People made fun of him. He didn’t have his own house as an adult. And we all know how his life ended.

When, not if

Yet we whine when the A/C goes out, when another driver cuts us off, when we feel utterly wronged. (I’m talking to myself here!)

The good news? Whatever we do go through in life, God knows every.single.step. And he is beside us for every.single.step.

And if we allow God to work in us and comfort us, our spiritual walk is strengthened through trials, in ways it would never be strengthened in absolute comfort.

And the even better news? This world isn’t the end!


Yes, if we are Christians we will have riches. In Heaven.

We will have perfect health. In Heaven.

We will have flawless relationships. In Heaven.

I’m excited for Heaven, aren’t you?

for more of my thoughts and story on this topic, be sure to check out my ebook, His Grace is Enough

About Kelli Hays

Kelli Hays is a wife, mother, writer, and friend. She has been blogging since 2008 and loves sharing inspiration for the everyday woman!


  1. What a great post! There is so much truth to this post. God bless~ Lisa :O)