Rejoicing in Hardship

And not only this, but [with joy] let us exult in our sufferings and rejoice in our hardships, knowing that hardship (distress, pressure, trouble) produces patient endurance; Romans 5:3 AMP  

Suffering! I hate it! I know I am not the only person on planet earth who feels this way. The pressures of life can be overwhelming. Most people would prefer not to suffer hardship and pressure. But pressure is not always a negative thing. Diamonds are very valuable and many women would love to have this precious stone in their possession. But diamonds are formed under intense heat and pressure.  Without pressure, there would be no diamonds.

This is the same principle the Apostle Paul applied here. He wanted the church community to change the way they saw the hardships in their lives. While many see hardships and suffering as something undesirable, he wanted this community to embrace the side effects of those experiences. Franklin D. Roosevelt was a four time president of the United States. In 1921, he contracted polio. That could have been the end of all his dreams and aspirations, but he did not allow polio to write the obituary of his life. Instead, he faced the challenge head on; as a result, he was able to regain the use of his legs. In 1932, he was elected president of the United States.

How do you rewrite the story of the hardships that are part of the human experience?  First, change the way you look at the hardship in your life. If you think that the hardship you face is more than you can handle, then it would write the obituary of your life. Look at the hardship as a tool designed to take your raw materials and with the pressures and heat of your suffering, bring out the diamond in you. Then you can look at the issues confronting you with joy because you are able to see beyond the issue to the reward at the end.

The Apostle Paul told the church that their suffering would produce endurance. Endurance is the ability to stand even when under extreme pressure. How can you do that? Can this be done simply with human strength? Well, when Joshua was under the pressure of leadership, God told him in Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not be terrified or dismayed (intimidated), for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” God is faithful and He will be with you wherever you go, even during the struggles in your life.

Thought for Today: Friend, when life is tough, rejoice; God is with you.

Have a blessed day and walk in faith and victory.

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