Header

Getting the Most out of Hardship

With our economic downturn, rising costs and joblessness, hardships are on the rise. Yet hardships provide fertile ground for personal growth and blessing. Wait a minute, there are benefits to hardship? Yes! Really? Hardship, trials, suffering—who in their right mind would want those!? Our natural response in any trial or suffering is to pray first for deliverance. We shouldn’t feel bad for wanting out of a painful situation, but all too often we seek only deliverance without considering first how to extract the benefits of our hardship.

A short time ago, I prayed with an individual in the hospital who had been there nearly three weeks. I challenged that person not to miss the good things God might have for them in the midst of their suffering. Predictably, this individual blurted out, “I just want to get out of here!” That response is okay. It’s normal. But there’s more to any such tough situation that we won’t want to miss!

Deep in Psalm 119 David reveals something very profound on the subject of hardship. Let me paraphrase what he prays, “Lord, You are good and all You do is good. And I needed to go through hardship, in order to grasp how good You are!” (Psalm 119:68 & 71 paraphrase)

During times of hardship we experience the depths of God’s love, power, goodness and faithfulness in ways we could not know without the hardship. When everything is going well—we have a beautiful family, nice home, great job, etc.—it’s easy to pray, “Lord, Your grace is sufficient.” But when the doctors have just informed us that they no longer detect a heartbeat in our unborn child the sufficiency of God’s grace takes on much more significance.

Through that experience my wife and discovered that God’s grace really is sufficient for us through anything life might throw at us. I love the way Paul puts it in 2 Corinthians 1:5, “For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.” In other words, Christ’s compassion for us more than matches any amount of hardship we may experience. But we would not experience or understand Christ’s abundant compassion apart from the hardship!

What hardships are you experiencing right now: financial, health, work, relationships? Ask God to reveal to you more of His of awesome character to you through what you’re enduring. “Lord, You are good and all You do is good. And I needed to go through hardship, in order to grasp how good You are!” (Psalm 119:68 & 71)

©2010 Rob Fischer

2 comments

1 Jan Mitchell { 12.27.10 at 2:18 am }

When I was 18 and in Bible School my brother Mark got hepititis and nearly died. He was a young husband with 2 youngsters. I contracted Mono and stayed away for a few weeks. When I came back to his house, he was beginning to recover and the first things out of his mouth was, “Let me tell you what the LORD has been teaching me.” I will never forget that and have always asked the LORD in the midst of trials, “What do you want me to learn LORD?” It’s been really neat to grow and see God in ways I couldn’t have known but thru a trial.

2 winifred { 08.16.13 at 1:25 pm }

“Lord, You are good and all You do is good. And I needed to go through hardship, in order to grasp how good You are!” Oh Lord Jesus.amen.