When a child hurts, our focus is to restore comfort quickly. We remove obstacles so that a toddler will have a clear path to walk. And many parents seek to minimize frustration for school-age children by helping with homework—sometimes offering more assistance than necessary. While wanting to ease children’s discomfort is understandable, we may inadvertently convey a subtle message that obstacles and pain are to be eliminated at all costs. This viewpoint can get carried into adulthood, and unfortunately, it is a harmful one.
Difficulties are a part of life, and if we expect otherwise, we will be consistently disappointed. Then disappointment, if allowed to remain, can turn us away from the Lord. A lot of time can be wasted trying to avoid trials when we could be trusting God for the future. We also expend energy and prayer power seeking to get out of our tough situations instead of asking the Lord how He wants us to respond. Most importantly, God does not view adversity as the tragedy we interpret it to be. As a result, our thinking is in opposition to His.
God sees redemptive value in our trials. Jesus’ suffering and death on the cross prove the mighty spiritual work God can accomplish through adversity. He uses difficulties to advance our spiritual life and to achieve His great purposes for us. Rather than “set-backs” in our lives, our struggles are actually opportunities for spiritual advancement.
None of us enjoy trouble, but in this sin-sick world, sorrow and hardships are guaranteed. Let us surrender our thinking and ask to have the mind of Christ, who trusted the Father’s ways even unto death on the cross.