I heard someone say, that it’s hard being a Christian! I thought, “compared with what?” The alternative, being out of the Kingdom, is unthinkable.
Several years ago, when I was going through the toughest and loneliest time of my life, two people tried to be helpful. One said, “keep smiling” and I could have hit him. Another remarked, that it will be ‘character building’ and I could have hit her. They might not have been the most sensitive things to say - thankfully, there were several others who had ‘been there’, and were more understanding - but they were right!
When your back is to the wall and your whole world seems to be falling apart and you are really hurting, you’ve two options. You can give up or you lean heavily on Jesus and look to Him to take you through. I never liked hardship - who does? - and suffering wasn’t in my vocabulary. When the going got tough, I would eventually look for a way out, rather than through. Endurance just wasn’t my strongest point.
So God stepped in and allowed the circumstances that would strengthen me. Later on, however, after I had come through, I looked back and realised that somehow, God had done something inside me. Hard to explain, but I just knew. I’m not saying God had finished with me, He was just preparing me for the next stage of the battle.
We really can praise God in the trials, because we know He is always with us and will never, ever let us down.