I read a very interesting quote from the Forbes magazine yesterday, that difficulties build up our mental muscle the same way physical exercise builds up our bodies.
It is a very interesting concept, to think that we need tough times to strengthen and equip us. Often, my first thought when difficulties arise is to step away, or avoid the situation until somehow, magically, it resolves. We often think of difficulties as something we just need to get through, but what if we changed our perspective? What if we viewed tough times as the places in which we grow the most? Where we become stronger and better equipped for the future? Where we can actually shine the light of God’s love the most?
This concept is not new. In the book of James, in one of my favorite bible verses that I often quote, we are told to consider it all joy when tough times come:
“ Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”James 1:2-4
I am reminded today that difficult situations, if we choose to let God lead us through them, polish and refine us. I cannot claim to be patient if I have never faced a situation where I could have reacted impatiently. I cannot claim to have faith if I have never faced a humanly impossible situation that only God could intervene and resolve. The list is endless. I am learning that if we never have an opportunity to exercise our spiritual muscle through difficult situations, we don’t grow and become mature Christians.
And so today I am thankful for difficult situations. I am grateful for the opportunity to flex my spiritual muscle. It is in those difficult situations, those tough times where the Holy Spirit shows us how to react differently. Instead of hate, we respond with love. Instead of spreading hurt and anger, our presence delivers peace and hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. This is the difference the world needs to see.
I thank God that I have the privilege of making that difference by responding differently during tough situations.
Today I will look at difficult situations differently. I will embrace them as opportunities to become better and a way to spread the love of God in this world. Will you join me?