Let it be all joy to you, my brothers, when you undergo tests of every sort;”
James 1:2 (BBE)
Troubles, difficulties, and pressures come to all of us at one time or the other, whether we like it or not. Nobody is exempt. What we do before, during and after each crisis is largely determined by our attitude to life.
C. H. Spurgeon said, “God has one Son without sin, but he never had a son without trial.” Our perception rather than any singular other factor often determines whether we profit from it or wasted the efforts, prayers and lessons that result from each ‘crisis experience.’
“Troubles are often the tools by which God fashions us for better things,” said Beecher. Jesus showed us an example of confronting the difficulties of life, the bitter pills that others dish out to us, the betrayals, disappointments, breakdowns and other myriad problems associated with life.
Paul, the apostle perhaps more than anyone else demonstrated that it is possible to sing and rejoice while all hell is breaking loose. He showed by principle and practice that it was possible to maintain joy though bound by chains, give comfort and hope to others while the pieces of our lives are flying over our heads in all directions.
Poor Richard, Jr. said, “Trouble knocked at the door, but hearing a laugh within hurried away.” It was his attitude that gave Paul the victory. That he could write the book of Philippians with joy as its theme and repeatedly echoing ‘rejoice, again l say rejoice’ while his condition at that material point was far less than joyful, is particularly touching.
As believers, we must acquire the spirit that conquers though troubles abound. We must understand the purpose for the trials and temptations that beset us and in understanding this we will get better equipped to handle them when they come. Note that it is ‘when’ and not ‘if’ they come. Life is a mixture of both roses and thorns. The thorns give us a deeper appreciation of the roses.
More importantly, the right attitude allows us to cultivate the right relationships that enable us to tap into the strength of others.