Why is life so hard? Here are 3 reasons God allows life to be so hard according to the Bible.
1. Life Is So Hard Because This Planet Really Is Broken and He’s Giving the World Time to Repent Before He Makes All Things New
Much of the hardness of life has nothing to do with what you did or did not do to cause that hardness. Even if you could live a perfect life in complete obedience to God, your life would still be hard. Why? Because this world truly is broken and corrupted.
Jesus did live a perfect life here on earth and his life was anything but easy. So to answer this question about why life is so hard for you personally, you have to take a step back and look at “this life” in a more general way. You have to remember what part of the larger story we are currently in according to the Bible.
The Bible tells us what happened, what is happening, and what is going to happen. What did happen was that God made humans to be in a perfect love relationship with himself, but we rebelled and then God sent Jesus Christ to restore our fellowship with him. What’s going to happen in the future is that God is going to make all things new through creating a new heaven and new earth and then give all Christians glorified bodies so we never have to struggle with the sin nature again (Revelation 21:1-4).
But what is happening right now? Now is our time of choosing. God will only save those who choose to receive his grace through faith in Jesus Christ. The world is still broken. God has not remade everything yet. Salvation and freedom are available and we can experience immense joy in our relationship with God, but the full promise of redemption has not yet completely occurred. We are still here on this sinful and broken planet. We’re in the back half of God’s story but the end has yet to come. Why doesn’t God just make all things new now? 2 Peter 3:7-10 explains:
But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.
But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.”
So no matter what you do, life will always be hard on this earth because that’s where we are at in God’s larger story. We know God will make all things new, but he hasn’t yet chosen to do that because he is giving lost people time to receive his grace, and therefore life will still always be very hard.
Life is not supposed to be easy right now because we are at war for our own souls and the souls of lost people.
2. Life Is So Hard Because There’s Always a Process to Receive God’s Promises
It’s very easy to focus so much on the promises in God’s word, we skip over the processes God outlines for us if we want to receive those promises from him.
Matthew 7:7 states, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” James 1:12 explains, “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. “
What do all these Bible passages have in common? Before every promise there is a process we must follow. If we want to receive we must first ask. If we want the door to be open we must first knock. If we want to be taken care of we must first seek God. And if we want to receive the crown of life in the future, we have to remain faithful to God during the trials in our present.
One day God will take away all the hardness of this life, but right now you are in the process part of receiving his promises. So one reason God is allowing your life to be so hard is because through the pain God is preparing you to receive the promises ahead.
3. Life Is So Hard Because God Is Giving You Opportunities to Glorify Him
Again, we have to take a step back and remember what is actually happening during this point in the story. What is our purpose? Why did God make us anyways?
Well, throughout the Bible, the answer is consistently that we were made to glorify God. But how do we best bring God glory? God is glorified in our lives when we accurately represent his character to the watching world. And sometimes, perhaps even most times, this is done most effectively during hard times more so than easy times. When God radically saved Paul in Acts 9, he then sent Ananias to help him mature. This is what God said to Ananias about Paul in Acts 9:15-16. It states:
But the Lord said to him, ‘Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.’”
Just as God chose Paul to be a light and spread the gospel, God has chosen us all to bring glory to his name while here on earth by being a light for the gospel. The light always shines the brightest in the dark; therefore, one reason God allows hard times in our lives is because he wants us to shine brightly for him.