How do you handle adversity?
There’s an old Russians proverb that I like: “The hammer shatters the glass, but forges steel.” If you’re glass, if you’re superficial, if there’s no faith in you, adversity will crack and shatter you. But if you “seek the Lord and his strength, seek his face continually” (1 Chronicles 16:11) you will have in you the victory that overcomes the world. Then the hammer of circumstance hitting you forges you into a strong person. God knew what he was doing when he constructed this world so that there was difficulty in it.
Facing difficulty is what makes it possible for us to grow, to learn where our strength really lies. “The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble” (Psalm 9:9). Sometimes we get so caught up in our troubles that we forget an important fact: Within every difficulty is possibility. Always. Every problem has the seeds of its own solution, and sometimes those solutions lead up to new and exciting things. God says, “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” (Isaiah 43:19).
Generally, when people are disheartened, they can’t see the possibilities. They see only the difficulties that are involved, not the solution. They magnify the difficulties, to blow them up, to make them bigger than they actually are. Don’t let yourself go down that path! The thing to do when you are disheartened is the very opposite: Go hunting around in your situation for the bright possibilities that are surely there. God’s kindness and compassion “are new every morning” (Lamentations 3:23). Seek them out! He wants to place before you “an open door that no one can shut” (Revelation 3:8). There are no dead-ends with God.
Jesus told his disciples, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Accept Jesus Christ as your Savior, receive him as your Divine Redeemer, and let your life be changed. Then you will be able to handle anything life brings. I don’t mean to say it’s going to be easy. It never will be easy. You’ll have trouble to the end, but you can be master of it in the name of Jesus.
Sir Norman Peale – Guidepost
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