Have you ever noticed that when most people encounter something challenging they fold? We are a generation of moral and spiritual weaklings. Trouble usually elicits complaints from us. People whine and fuss when things are tough. Life’s difficulties don’t go away just because you don’t like them. What we need to do is consider that life’s difficulties can be beneficial.
Enemies draw you closer to the Lord – Ps 18:1-6. You need a strong enemy. Ps 18:19-26, As long as David had Saul for an enemy and had to fight to stay alive, he was close to the Lord. The night he messed up with Bathsheba was when he tarried still at Jerusalem. He tarried when kings go forth to war, 2 Sam 11:1. When Israel had to fight to get into the promised land and conquer it, they were close to the Lord. When they became fat (Deut 8:10-20), they departed from Him.
Hardships improve your character – Romans 5:3-4. It is important to understand that the ups and downs of life are necessary for our character to evolve and for us to experience growth through catharsis. This means that we undergo some sort of transformation, a cleansing or purification by means of suffering and change. We purge our emotions through a disastrous occurrence and ultimately find restoration and resolution at the conclusion.
Trials strengthen your faith – Jas 1:2-4; 1 Pet 1:7. After the transfiguration, the disciples could not cast a devil out of a certain boy, Matt 17:14-21. Jesus said that they failed because of their unbelief. They needed faith as the grain of a mustard seed. In Lk 17:5-6 the disciples asked Jesus to increase their faith. Again He said they needed faith as the grain of a mustard seed. Well, He put their faith to the test at the crucifixion and the resurrection. And even still He had to upbraid them for their unbelief (Mk 16:14). But after these trials, their faith increased. When the trial of your faith is complete you have more patience, you are perfect and entire wanting nothing, and you will bring more praise, honor, and glory to God.
Chastisement yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness – Heb 12:5-11. Sometimes, we just need a good whipping from God. He wants us to be partakers of His holiness and He knows that there is no way to get that in us without chastisement. Job 34:31-32, God gets you to a place where you are done with the unrighteousness that He wants out of you. Correction produces a better child (Prov 23:13-14; Prov 29:17).
Thorns build your reliance upon God’s grace – 2 Cor 12:7-10. People sometimes ask, why this, Lord? Well, if nothing else, I can say with assurance, He wants you to glory in your infirmity that the power of Christ may rest upon you. He wants you to experience the strength of Christ in the time of your weakness. You are a testimony to the power of the grace of God.
Instead of crying about life’s difficulties, look for the work God’s doing in your life. We are missing the benefit if we only look at the difficulty.