"we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance..." Romans 5:3 (ESV)
I don't know anyone who clamors for hardship or difficulty in life. Most of us want to get through our days skating pleasantly along on the smooth surface of ease. when we sense hard times in the wind we immediately begin to ask God to take them away and restore us to peaceful tranquility.
I would count myself among those who have uttered such prayers. I dislike trouble as much as the next person does but I maintain that it is in our hardships that God does His very best work on our hearts.
Those times when life is just so hard are what bring us back to our Bible reading and frequent times of prayer. We desire that closeness with the Lord and want to take comfort in the words of Scripture, knowing that He is always at the ready to hear us. Sometimes, we chastise ourselves because we realize it takes such trials to bring us back to that place of dependency.
we so often humbled in hardships. They cause us to look within and it seems that only then can we discern exactly how far we have wandered off the path of righteousness. I think there are those who are amazed as they look back and realize with grief and sorrow the crooked paths that lay behind them. Paths that are often marked by pride as they thought they were oh so smart in their own eyes. Paths that have ruin and destruction along the borders from relationships they have damaged, and opportunities lost for glorifying God.
Humility is a blessing that comes from difficulties in life that place us under so much pressure we think we cannot bear up under them. The strain that accompanies them leads us to cry out for mercy and help from the Almighty. We are humbled as a result of this. We recognize how foolish we have been to attempt to work out our own plans and sidestep those God has for us. Our hearts are opened up and we are blessed to see the muck and mire that our selfish, prideful hearts contain; areas that we so carefully attempt to blockade from being exposed to the Light.
Oh what blessings come from difficulties! I see in myself a much greater appreciation for the Word and its guiding force and hand in changing my heart after such storms have passed. I am grateful for everything my life contains in those times. I see so clearly the mercy and grace that God has lavished on me, and I see His infinite patience with my stubborn foolishness. A time of thanksgiving bursts forth in my spirit and I cannot help but to proclaim his goodness!
Rejoice in your hardships and be encouraged in your difficulties for God is hard at work in the chambers of your soul. He is painstakingly removing the imperfections from your heart and creating places of worship and thanksgiving as you are being transformed by the renewing of your mind.