Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Joy of Hardship

Psalm 119:71 says, "It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes." As curious as it sounds, there is often good that comes from bad. There is a joy that can be found in hardship--as long as we take hold of the fact that God can and does use those hardships for His glory in our lives.

Commenting on this truth, J.C. Ryle said

"Let us mark this well. There is nothing which shows our ignorance so much as our impatience under trouble. We forget that every cross is a message from God, and intended to do us good in the end. Trials are intended to make us think, to wean us from the world, to send us to the Bible, to drive us to our knees.
Health is a good thing; but sickness is far better, if it leads us to God. Prosperity is a great mercy, but adversity is a greater one if it brings us to Christ. Anything, anything is better than living in carelessness, and dying in sin. Better a thousand times to be afflicted, like the Canaanitish mother (Mark 7:24-20) and like her flee to Christ, than live at ease like the rich fool (Luke 12:20) and die at last without Christ and without hope."

No one enjoys hardships. But if we can take hold of the fact that God will use them for His glory, and to teach us of His goodness, and to use them to minister to others, we can learn to embrace these times.

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