I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him. (2 Tim. 1:12)

OUR SEPTIC SYSTEM FAILED last summer while we were away on vacation. We came home to find that the sewer line had broken, causing sludge from the town sewer to pile up in our yard. We called a plumber, but he told us the parts needed to make repairs wouldn’t be available for a month. It got worse: a few days later our air conditioner broke amid the hottest week on record. We were forced to open windows, allowing the putrid odor from our septic system to waft into our home. Things weren’t going the way we wanted them to, and we began to wonder if they ever would.

There are times when this simple Bible truth comes as a welcome relief: God is still in control. Believing that truth takes effort, though. When life gets tough, it is easy to adopt an attitude of despair, to believe life has devolved into a mess we’ll never get out of. How much more discouraging is it when our suffering comes as a result of doing good?

Let me say it again: God is in control. “Our Savior, Jesus Christ . . . has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2 Tim. 1:10). Does the gospel seem unrelated to your everyday problems? It isn’t. It is absolutely relevant. Remember, the problems we face in life will not win in the end. Remind yourself of that truth daily, and you’ll have power.

Repeat 2 Timothy 1:12 several times aloud.

Lawrence W. Wilson is a pastor, author, and avid cyclist from Fishers, Indiana.