Life is full of ups and downs, that’s for sure. No one really has a problem with the ‘ups’….least wise I haven’t heard anybody griping about them. Nope, it’s the ‘downs’ that we don’t enjoy all that much. But, really, it’s just a fact of life that we’re going to go through some extremely trying times in the course of our lives.
The trials of life can really take a toll on us. In fact there are many out there who are experiencing some big-time ill effects from the hard things they’ve had to endure. And in some of those cases…..they just can’t seem to break out of the pattern. There’s no way I’d minimize the seriousness, and hopeless state, of those trapped in a life of discouragement and defeat. We’ve all had the pressure and temptation to stay there ourselves. But, what if those trials of life were somehow beneficial to us over the long-haul? What if there is some redemptive value in going through the tough times? And, just what if those unpleasant circumstances were a whole lot better for us than we could ever imagine?
I believe it’s a high possibility that these storms of life can have some extremely positive effects on us if we’ll respond in the right way. I’m no expert here. I’ve flunked more of life’s tests than most. But I can honestly see how those hard things have helped me in the long-run. Your question would be…..“How’s that?”.
I’ve learned that my first response at the start of a trial should be…..to run to the Father. It’s not always my first thought (sometimes I have to have someone remind me!)…..but it’s always the right thing to do! Running ‘from’ God never works. Running ‘to’ Him always does! I’ve made a short list of why/how these hard things can be vital to us as we grow up in the Lord.
1) When we reach the ‘end’ of ourselves we’re more prone to start to put our trust in the Lord. That’s a very ‘good thing’!
2) Our faith gets tested. *God doesn’t test us so He can find out how strong our faith is…..He tests us so that we can find that out!!
3) We mature through the trials of life.
4) We learn patience and obedience through the tough times.
5) We learn, firsthand, that we really are ‘more than conquerors’!
The list could go on and on
James wrote in his letter, “Count it all joy when you fall into various trials…”. By faith we can face our challenges and be encouraged that we’re going to be better than we were. And what’s more important…..we’ll be more like Him!