The rain falls on the just as well as the unjust and many times as God’s children we find ourselves struggling to be thankful because of the hardship we experience.
If we are honest with each other, it’s easier to be thankful and joyful when things are going well. But it is a totally different story when you are struggling to keep food on the table, and all hell is breaking loose in your life.
It’s in the hardship seasons that I believe our faith is deeply tested. Faith that hasn’t been tested - can’t be trusted! These seasons can bring even the strongest of us to our knees with questions we would’ve never thought could enter our hearts. So how can we cultivate a heart of thanksgiving in hardship?
Suffering is not an option it is just a matter of time before it happens to us all, but I am so glad to know that God is not an inactive bystander in our circumstances.
Don’t Take It Personal
The majority of humanity has or will experience seasons of hardship. The scripture tells us that even the earth has been groaning (Romans 8:22-23). It’s only natural that when we go through rough seasons it feels like a personal attack, but that is just not true. No matter what we may experience, we’ve got to know that even in a sin-sick world God’s grace is sufficient for us and every situation we may experience.
Facing foreclosure- His grace is sufficient
Struggling to keep food on the table- His grace is sufficient
Doctors aren’t sure why your health is failing- God’s grace is sufficient
Grieving over the loss of loved ones– God’s grace if sufficient
Whatever it is – God’s grace is sufficient!
It may not feel like it or look like it, but you must receive it and rest in it by faith - if you are going to live a victorious life.
Guard Your Gates
Hardship can feel like a dark veil over your eyes making it hard to see the truth of God’s promises. So, it is vital to spiritual growth that we be very selective about what we’re listening to and what we allow to go before our eyes. Poking around on social media wishing life was different and complaining about what you don’t have will only keep you stagnant and rob you of a grateful heart. Instead, get up, go for a walk, and thank God for legs to enjoy the scenery.
Worship and praise music are always a great idea. Letting encouraging messages and podcasts enter your ear gate will feed your spirit; hopelessness will fall off you like a heavyweight.
Let Her Have Her Way
Who I’m I referring to? Patience - let her have her way in every situation. James 1: 2-5 says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces patience. Let patience have her way, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.” Lacking nothing – I really like that! You see there is a purpose in the trials and hardships of life. It may be annoying and inconvenient, but hardship gives us the opportunity to suffer like Christ. The truth is God never promised us a trouble-free life, as a matter of fact, Jesus said, that in this world we would have troubles, but take heart because He has already overcome them all. Now that is good news.
Faith that hasn’t been tested - can’t be trusted!
Have an Eternity Mindset
I know, we are aware that we should keep our eyes focused on things above, but truthfully when we’re experiencing pain, grieving, and going through our flesh tends to forget that. 1 Peter 5:10 says, “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”
Suffering is not an option it is just a matter of time before it happens to us all, but I am so glad to know that God is not an inactive bystander in our circumstances. We have a good Father who is working all things together for our good and for His glory. Feel free to pout and pour out the fleshly feelings before Him, then arise and know that God is working in you a greater purpose.
When going through hardships, seasons of lack, or grief, be intentional about staying in the word of God and allowing the Father to encourage you. You don’t want to waste the experience by becoming bitter or being offended. Cultivating a thankful heart during hardship is a pleasing offering to our Father.
Be encouraged and press in because hardship is not where your story ends!