Psalm 112:4, 6-7 - “Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous… Surely the righteous will never be shaken; they will be remembered forever. They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.”
How is it that some people come through incredible challenges the better for them, yet others are crushed by lesser things? How can we remain unshaken and unafraid of bad news like the person spoken about in Psalm 112?
James 1:2-4 in the Message says, Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.
Growing through challenges has to do with your convictions - what you truly believe. How do you see God? Do you see him as forgiving and loving? If so, you will be able to trust him to sustain you through difficulties. But if you see God as a distant, harsh judge who waits for you to slip up so he can punish you, then you will run from him in hard times because you’ll see him as the problem instead of the answer.
Worry and fear will rob you of faith and prevent you from moving forward. But when you trust God you will have a firm belief in his reliability and a confident expectation that he will carry you through anything that confronts you.
Maximizing your life means taking every opportunity to learn and grow. No one escapes challenges and trials; the difference is in how you face them. Take James and consider these ‘a gift’, then you’ll approach any hardship from a position of strength and come through with increased confidence in God. If you live this way you are like the righteous man in Psalm 112 - you will increase in wisdom and discretion and continue to progress.
We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain… (Heb 6:19 NIV)
Prayer: Thank you Lord that my hope is anchored in You. No matter what comes my way, I choose to believe that you love me, you will provide for me and that my future is secure in your hands.
(From Brian Houston’s daily devotional, Growing Through Challenges.)