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Getting the Most out of Hardship – 6

A sixth benefit from hardship and suffering is that they center our focus on the eternal.

In Hebrews, the writer reminds his readers of the severe persecution and trials they experienced after coming to Christ. He urges, “Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you stood your ground in a great contest in the face of suffering. Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. You sympathized with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions.” (Hebrews 10:32-34 NIV)

In the context of hardship we realize how temporal and unimportant our stuff, schedules and agendas are. Suffering clears our minds of the junk to recognize what’s truly important. The apostle Paul wrote, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” (Romans 8:18 NIV)

Recently, our church held the memorial service for a young lady, who from age 2½ to 15 suffered chronic, excruciating pain. Yet in her suffering she praised God and lived with love and grace like few adults ever attain. This young woman knew how to live because she focused not on temporary circumstances, but on what will last forever and she is enjoying the eternal right now.

©2011 Rob Fischer