Yes it is hard brother, tests are challanging. But they are also necessary and for our benefit. Without tests and struggles we would not know if what we had was genuine.
The pilot of a jet airliner does not just fly in fair weather. He must learn to fly in all kinds of inclimate weather as well to even qualify as an airline pilot. He has to look adversity in the eye and believe his instruments even though his senses tell him it's hopeless, you can't see.
God has given us an entire book of "instruments" to navigate and overcome this life. But it takes work and practice to be successful. We just cannot afford a crash landing. God's Word and His promises are what we see with, not with our eyes. Jesus told the pharasees that it was because they yet see that they were blind. To see what God sees we must look at what God looks at. We must see into the spiritual. How do you do that?
Brother, you do that each time you come here to SI. You cannot see me with your natural eye and I cannot see you. I can't tell what kind of house you live in, what kind of clothes you wear, what kind of car you drive, how many rings are on your fingers, the color of your hair, how long your hair is...all of these things are things we see. I cannot do that here. I also cannot make value judgements based on what I see with my eyes. I can only see here that part of you that God sees, the inward man. That is where the new man is. And it's all I need to see. All of those things mentioned above and more mean nothing to God. They should not mean anything to us either. The only thing that is important is the state of your heart and that you are born again.
Dear brother, there is a place, a very quiet place where struggles subside. It's a secret place that only you know about. It's that lonely place where you meet with God. Jesus had to do it. He did it as often as He possibly could. If we are to be His disciples, we must do it too. We must shut ourselves in with God, in the secret place if we are to live in His peace and joy. It is there, sprinkled with the blood of Jesus that the presence of God dispels the darkness.
Let me ask you something, if I may. When you walk into a dark room and turn on the lightswitch, was chasing the darkness away much work? Did you have to go through some long ritual of works to get it to "go"? No, you simply connected the lamp with the power source and poof, the darkness vanished. Oh my, now look at what you can really see, now that the light is on. As long as you stay in the light, you can see. The light shines because it is connected to the power source. It's hot because it has dunamis power running through it.
See, we are like that lamp. We can be in perfect condition. We can be screwed in at the correct spot, but unless there is a connection made to that power source, we do not shine and dispel the darkness.
Our faith in Jesus Christ is much like that power switch. When we place our faith in His finished work, He, by His blood, makes a connection for us in heaven. The wires that bring the current is like the Holy Spirit. All has to be in place and properly connected before the lamp lights. It's not much different in God's kingdom. Yes you can shine. Yes the darkness will vanish easily. But you have to be in good working order, there has to be a connection between you and the power source, the Father, and there can be no interuption in between you and the power source.
Sin interupts the power. It does not stop the flow of current completely, but it does slow it down. Sometimes, because of it, we just glow very dimly, and shadows and dark spots begin to appear in our world. At other times, the connection is so bad, that we hardly glow at all. Repentance and faith in Jesus Christ improves the connection between us and the throne of grace. When there is nothing between our soul and our Savior, we shine forth brightly for all to see. It's very difficult to find darkness.
One more thing, the lamp in the room does not do any work to give off light. It was manufactured by someone who is a total stranger and even unknown. It was put in the right place by someone else who did not make it. Then when all the wiring was put in place by yet other people, and finally, the switch was installed. It still was not giving off light. It just was. Then someone closed the switch and with the power flowing through it, it was doing what it was made to do, give off light.
Brother, it's almost that simple with God. We are not made to do powerful things. We were made to have power flowing through us. There are no arms and legs in the spirit world. In the Spirit world, God provides the power, the conduit between us and the power source, and the connection to make it all work. We by faith become partakers of His light when we allow ourselves by faith to be used for His purpose and glory. When when the light is on, anyone who walks into the room can tell. You dont' need to read a book. You just know instantly, that all is in order and it is working fine. You don't even have to understand how it all works. The light shines. I said the light shines. No works, it just is, and it gives off light so that others do not fumble in the darkness. The light shines.
The Holy Spirit comes along and says "hey, I can light you up". You, by faith, yeild to the truth that He reveals to you. He makes you aware of the power source, He then tells you about the switch, the blood of Jesus. The only effort we need to make to get our lamp lit, is to place our faith in Jesus. He acts like the switch. We operate the switch by faith. It's so simple, why make it hard?
Someone may say, "well I can't see the power source". So? When was the last time you saw the power plant before you turned on the light. Unless you live right across from a power plant, you could live your whole life and not see it. That does not stop you for turning on your light and letting it shine.
Oh, and about your bill? Why it's paid in full forever and ever. So what's stopping your light from shinning beloved? Yielding to unbelief. Flesh has no faith. Flesh is it's own power source. It relys on it's works to keep it going. It is destined for the grave and corruption. Jesus told the pharasees, "this is your sin, that you do not believe on Him Who He sent" (probably a paraphrase there). We do not rely on the flesh to let our light shine. Faith in Jesus Christ and Him crucified is all that is necessary. To God be the glory, now and forever amen.