Tough times are a part of life. We know this. No one would ever claim to have had life easy.
There is a great book, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey that I have been reading. The more I learn about effective people, I realize they are simply taking what life throws at them and doing something good with it.
When a challenge comes, as hard as it is they look and honestly ask the question “how can this improve my character?”
This is a very biblical principle. James 1:2-4 tells us that we can be JOYFUL when trouble comes.
Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
So I decided to try this out in the middle of the night. Amayah was up for probably the tenth time crying and I was exhausted. The night before had been rough, the day had been rough and my body felt rough.
I left her room, knowing I was going to have to go back in and walked into the living room. I said “God, thank you that you can use this situation as an opportunity to shape my character and build my endurance. I don’t feel like I can do this right now, but I know you’re preparing me to go long-term for you.”
I had to remind myself of my prayer the rest of the night, but I honestly had a lot more peace.
Romans 5:3-5 encourages us of the positive things that can come from trials.
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
I’m not saying that we shouldn’t believe for the negative things in our lives to change. I believe in praying for healing, and I ask that God will help my kids sleep well and be kept safe.
However, it is so freeing to know that nothing is happening that is not benefiting you long-term. You are being molded and shaped into the beautiful creation God intends you to be, even when it doesn’t feel like it.
Keep thanking him for using the difficult things in your life and you’ll have a depth to your character that you could only had dreamed of!