What Good Can Come of Hardship?

When you turn to God, times of stress can lead to better choices and richer insights.

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Posted in , Jun 13, 2018

Woman in thought

We often hear people talk about big storms they’ve encountered—about the power of the wind, the jagged streaks of lightning, and the booms of thunder. But unless it’s been a hurricane or blizzard, we usually don’t hear much about what comes after the storms.

On the positive side, storms clear out the debris in the trees, tossing dead branches and leaves to the ground. They wash the dust and pollens from the leaves and make everything look clean and dewy fresh. Storms water the flowers, providing growth and beautiful flowers for us to enjoy. But they also show us frightful power when massive trees bend and break, and rivers overflow.

After the storm is when we regroup and pick up the pieces, and the same is true in our lives. The storms of hardships, emotional and physical woes, financial difficulties and heartaches are never fun while we’re going through them, but they can lead us down new and better paths. 

The storms of life teach us to take cover in the One who controls them. Those moments that batter us, that bend us emotionally where we feel like we’re going to break, are actually the times that strengthen us. They teach us to trust Him in ways that we never have before. They require us to cling to Him and to trust Him—even while the storm is raging.

And if we’ll let Him, those moments can refresh our souls. They can cleanse our hearts and clear out the debris we’ve hidden there. And those storms can help us grow so that we can blossom for Him. 

Nahum 1:7 tells us, “The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him.”

Isaiah 4:6 says, “There will be a booth for shade by day from the heat, and for a refuge and a shelter from the storm and rain.”

And Mark 4:39 shares, “And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.” 

Storms don’t last forever—and you’ll discover many beautiful treasures after the storm if you’ll just look for them.

In 2001, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I wasn’t a good candidate for chemo. I took tamoxifen instead and gave my trouble to God—just as Dr. Peale suggested in his book, "Thought Conditioners". Since then I’ve remained cancer free. -Guideposts Magazine reader

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