Sunday, July 21, 2013

Hardship and Difficulty

What causes you to have a low self esteem?  Is it sins you have committed in the past and the consequences, shame, regret, and embarrassment in front of others that followed?  Is it your appearance, lack of money, lack of health, or lack of friendships?  Is it how others treated you growing up, what you have experienced in life, or feelings of rejection or being unwanted?

Hardship and difficulty are facts of life (as cliché as that may sound).  I recently read a devotional where Greg Laurie said young people have the idea in their minds that success is good and hardship is bad and he explained that as you age and when you look back on your experiences in life, you realize that success (or life going your way, if you will) is not always good and can actually be bad for some and hardship can actually be a blessing in disguise even though it made life unpleasant at the time.

I have found that money and the possessions and material blessings it can buy only satisfy for a time or to a degree.  Sometimes I will look at the items I have been able to purchase (some of them having waited for several years to buy!) and I realize that even though I am grateful for all I have, in the end or in the midst of feeling empty, possessions really do not bring the contentment they promise.  While I will admit that having money and being able to afford the items/home decor we enjoy can be a great blessing and delight, it surely is not the "end all".

And the same applies to going through difficulty, hardship, and trials in life.  Looking back over all God has allowed and what He has brought me through, I would not trade those "awful" experiences for anything because the lessons I learned and how my character, desires, and life have been refined is truly worth more than gold!

Instead of asking, "Why?" when we experience difficulty in life, let us offer God a trusting heart and one that rests in Him, knowing He holds our lives in their entirety in His hands and what He allows or withholds truly is for our benefit and growth.  God sees our lives from an eternal perspective and we have the tendency to only focus on the temporal.

If only we could see life through God's perspective and consciously keep in mind that our loving and perfect Father (through the salvation Jesus Christ accomplished on behalf of sinners and our acceptance of it and commitment to the Lord) ALWAYS has our best interest in mind.  God is NOT vindictive, He is NOT manipulative, He is NOT immature, He never works in our lives with evil intent, and He ALWAYS wants what is best for us.

God is trustworthy...even when we have no one else to turn to, God is reliable and trustworthy!


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