Trials and Tribulations

100_2300Suffering and enduring through experiences that test our patience and resolve and causes us to grow and mature

The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials. Confucius

Adversities do not make the man either weak or strong, but they reveal what he is. Faith Forsyte

The art of living lies less in eliminating troubles than in growing with them.  Bernard Baruch

The older we get the more we experience “Trials and Tribulations”. By middle age we should be seasoned veterans of the School of Hard Knocks. This is a pre-requisite for graduation from the School of Life. Trials and tribulations are required and learning how to handle them is mandatory. We cannot successfully matriculate (graduate) from life without some degree of proficiency in handling them.

Most people do survive the adversities of their life. As a result they become experienced, seasoned and wiser. Some fail to cope and some even commit suicide rather than continuing to struggle through their tough times. They are unable to see themselves successfully through to the other side of the ordeal. They are unable to see the storms coming to an end, clouds dispersing, and sun and clear skies reappearing. Life demands us to be subjected to hardships and tests. It is part of our training and maturing process. Many cultures have rights of maturity in which young people must endure special hardships to be recognized as adults. After surviving the ordeal the young person is recognized and awarded the rights and privileges of adulthood. They are not recognized as having mature until they do so. In many respects we have not reached maturity until we have done the same thing. We have not achieved adulthood until we have had really our mettle tested and survived.

Our adversities are continuous forms of on the job training. Trials and tribulations seem to be customized to our own personalities and often occur poorly timed and without warning. We do endure, grow and become stronger and more capable as a result of our survival training. How we live and cope is analogous to how we use and train our muscles. The more we use them the more we can count on them when we really need them.

We will have trials and tribulations. They are part of Life’s process. Because of them, we learn and grow stronger. Our attitude and zest for life is largely a result of the resolve and mettle we must develop. Having an ‘I can’ attitude versus ‘I cannot’ attitude enables us to better handle life’s difficulties as seasoned veterans. We can lay back and cower or can embrace our difficulties with confidence knowing we are capable of successfully handling whatever comes our way. We must learn to embrace our trials and tribulations.

Challenge: Consider a current or recent hardship. As much as possible, separate yourself from it and look at it as if you are an outside observer. See it for what it is. It has a timeline, a beginning and an end. Life will continue on the other side. Visualize life becoming better on the other side of the difficulty. Instead of seeing yourself as a victim, see yourself as a victor. Take a deep breath, increase your resolve, and grow through it.

WisdomThe happy and efficient people of this world are those who accept trouble as a normal detail of human life and resolve to capitalize on it when it comes along.   James Alexander.

Spiritual: (NIV)

I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.  Philippians 4:13

You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.  Hebrews 10:36

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.  Hebrews 11:1

God tells us over and over again we do not have to succumb to the trials and tribulations, the pressures, the grief, all the bad things life throws at us. On our own these things can really get us down. We struggle to get through one of them and another comes along. God does not want us to live this way. He is able, willing, and ready to equip us with all the things we need to master them. We must want and ask for his help.

Prayer:  Grant me the strength to endure and cope with all of life’s trials and tribulations.

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