We all have heard stories of heroes. Oftentimes what defines a hero is that they continue on in face of unimaginable circumstances. If we’re blessed we know someone who not only preserves in horrible circumstances, but who looks at them as opportunities to be grown by Christ. This is not merely an acceptance of a tough time; this is someone who recognizes that while the mountaintops are nice, the valleys are what define us. They realize that they can’t ever really experience the Father of Lights unless they’ve held His hand in the darkness. Just as trials show you who your friends are, they also reveal your faith. The fire burns; what is genuine remains.
Kierkegaard suggested that every circumstance, whether good or bad, was a gift from God. The good times are reminders of God’s bountiful blessings. the bad times are a reminder of His faithfulness. Each type of circumstance reveals something how God is, and who were are in Christ that would never be demonstrated otherwise. It is easy to see the good times as beneficial because they are by definition “good”. If we could view the hard times in the same way, it would probably chance our perspective on both.
“O Lord, let thyself be found with a good gift to everyone who needs it, that the happy may find courage to accept thy good gifts, that the sorrowful may find courage to accept thy perfect gifts. For to men there is a difference of joy and of sorrow, but for thee, O Lord, there is no difference in these things; everything that comes from thee is a good and perfect gift.”
… Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855)