When I struggle with hardships in my life, what I always notice is that they cannot be understood at first. Mostly, there is a big question and a big hunger for answers. Why did this happen? Why am I in this situation? How could I have prevented this?
When the storms of life badly hit the vessel we are in, it’s hard to find any reason to be happy. Though it may sound easier said than done, here are rock-solid principles from the Bible that can help us to smile at the storms.
1. Remember that your trials are from God. – it devastates us if we keep on thinking that any unfavorable thing that happens to us are caused by our own or other people’s weaknesses. By this philosophy, we will live in a life full of blame and self-regrets. People who are imprisoned by the reasoning of evolution’s ‘survival of the fittest’ fall prey to the imprisoning claws of self-blame. We should remember that God is sovereign and that there is nothing that happens to our lives where He does not know. Job clearly understood this when he said, “For he knoweth the way that I take, when I am tried, I shall come forth as gold…” Smile, and place your confidence in God’s hands who is in control of your situation.
2. Look forward for the patience that will be produced in you. Trials develop your character. It makes you patient towards the next trials of the future. By receiving the experience and comfort you had along the way, you can be able to comfort and guide others too. Most of all, you can empathize with them because you have been in their shoes. Consider these trials as additional training for you that will help you improve personally and with your relationship to God. James 1:3 says, “because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”
3. Trials develop and make you mature. In the natural world, hardships are very important to achieve maturity. We need training to develop, we need pain to have gain, we need tests to measure our learning. As we stand amidst life’s trials, let us remember that these are great opportunities of God for us to grow. James again would say, “Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete…”
4. Above all, it makes you closer to Christ. No other greater reason why God allows or designs trials for our lives than to keep us closer to Him. “For whom the Lord loveth, He chasteneth.” Just like David, who was in the deepest moments of his life, being chased by his own son to murder him, felt the most intimate presence of the Lord when he wrote the psalm, “though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for Thou art with me.”
Let us be happy, be joyful, be glad amidst our tears. There are no other more blessed privilege than to be a child of the Living God who is in control of every situation of your life. For as long you remain in Him, He will never leave you nor forsake you. Ask for wisdom. Beg for mercy. Glorify.