God showed me recently, it is good when life works against me, because that is the only time I can respond in a godly way.
I cannot respond in a godly way when fortunes are good, when I’m being ‘blessed’, when I have nothing to complain about. I can only respond as someone remotely connected to Christ when things do not go my way.
Faith gives us the opportunity to do our best when we are at our worst.
It’s not a foregone conclusion that this is the case, for we still need to surrender ourselves before our God. But the reason we can consider our trials and struggles as pure joy (see James 1:2-4) is they reveal God’s Spirit is in us via our humble responses. Struggle is our opportunity.
It is only when I’m being maligned by somebody that I can respond in such a foreign way as to be noticed as somebody different — the answer for which is I live for God. This is when I respond to absorb the hurt propelled against me. When I respond in kindly, gentle grace, having only love to offer.
It is only when I feel justified to complain, yet refrain, that I recognise the peace in accepting things as they are. Accepting something seemingly impossible may involve a huge paradigm shift and commitment, but it unveils something fundamental and basic. When the flesh folds, the Spirit simply takes over. This is especially true when things are too tough to respond to in the flesh. We stop fighting.
It is only when I’m struggling to reconcile matters in my own mind and heart that I stand on the precipice of faith. Faith is irrelevant and benign when life runs swimmingly.
It is only when my back is against the wall that I take that very next step blindly, by faith.
We can consider our trials pure joy only when we see that this is where God’s power lies.
If these difficult and dark circumstances can’t kill our joy, then what can? Resolving to be content when there is only discontent shows the entire world Who is inside us. We are children of the living God!