How do you do?

Wow, exciting question… and often the question is also said out of politeness. Not so much as a question, but almost as a “hello”. In some cultures, it really is a kind of “hello” and no one is waiting for your answer…..

But let’s take an honest look at that question: How are you?

Is it always okay? No. Unfortunately, the world is a rotten place… and yes, we’d like to see that change and we’re doing our best for it. But alas… Because here comes the Biblical (hard) truth:

Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned—

Romans 5:12

The world we now live in is rotten… the “sin” is here… the “death” is real and awaits all of us. Point.

So, how do you answer that question? We now (almost always) answer that question with:

We are doing great, concerning the circumstances.

And then you see people thinking… huh? What do they mean by that? And if they are genuinely interested, they will ask further, and we will have a real conversation about how things are going. But what do we mean by it….

Well, literally what it says:

We are doing great, concerning the circumstances.

Are we always happy with the circumstances? No. Can we always do something about that? No. But if the conditions are bad… does it automatically mean that we are bad?


You may have just failed an exam, and you’re not happy about it (we get it), but is it going bad? You still have a roof over your head, your toilet works, your fridge is still full of food.. and yes… you failed the exam…

And then you have the choice …. What answer do you give? Are you happy with what you do have, or do you let that incident ruin your whole day? Or even more? Do circumstances really determine whether you’re doing well? Or should you be more honest…

Circumstances aren’t very good… but I’m doing well, given the circumstances.

Ready for a Bible verse?

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5

Note verse 17: pray continually.

Because yes… the circumstances… and if they are not good: pray your socks off! Nothing wrong with that, on the contrary…

And now for you… chances are if you’re reading this, things aren’t going so well in your life… but why are you reading this?

Because (unfortunately) you can easily relate to that complicated question…. and that’s probably why you’re reading this… because things aren’t going so well… but that’s why we’re talking about a God who is there for you…. and thus you are now…getting closer to God…. through all your difficulties… in spite of all the circumstances. Step by step closer to Him…. winner. Your pain brings you closer to God… today…. special huh?

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:28

God wants to use that difficult time…. so that you come closer to Him….

And yes… sometimes… we also have to be honest… and our answer must be:

Given the bad circumstances, I’m not doing well either. On the contrary…

And that may also be there… pain exists… is real… the circumstances are sometimes not good (homeless, war, mourning, etc) and then you should know this:

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Matthew 11:28-29

God knows you are sometimes tired and “burdened”… He is there for you, He knows it, he really does… and the closer you get to Him… the more rest you will find with Him… with Him… there is real rest. Even if the conditions are not good.

So, we would like to encourage you, to give an honest answer to the question “how are you”. Feel free, be real, be honest, and don’t let circumstances, by definition, dictate how you are doing. Just give it a thought….

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