Have you ever found yourself grumbling over difficult circumstances? I know I have…
To be completely honest, a few months into this new challenge I began to feel extremely overwhelmed. And that is when the grumbling began…“How am I supposed to give 100% to the national office and 100% to our local congregation? I don’t like being away from my husband, family, and church family one week a month.” Grumble, grumble, grumble…went the self-focused melody of my heart.
The writer of Hebrews even warns us in Hebrews 12:15 against a bitter root that can grow to cause trouble and defile many. It is so easy to grumble and complain as we walk through difficult situations. We may even feel justified in our bad attitudes; but despising our circumstances leads to bitterness, rebellion, and hardness of heart. That bitter root will impact our lives and the lives of those around us.
Embracing hardship leads to maturity and a wonderful harvest of righteousness. But how do we embrace hardship as God’s discipline?
1. Recognize that He is Master and I am servant.
2. Believe God will work all things for my good.
3. Believe that where He leads, He will provide (strength, peace, wisdom,…).
4. Live for His eternal purposes, not my temporal ones.
5. Trust His love!
6. Depend completely on Him!
It is amazing what happens when we simply change our focus from self-centered pity to humble submission. There is joy and peace! I’ve discovered that many times it is not our circumstances that need to change—it is us.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds,
because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.
Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete,
not lacking anything” (James 1:2-4).