Many people today are struggling with the challenges, surprises, and painful situations in life. What is it that is challenging you today? Is it a financial situation? A relationship issue? A child? Your job? Or perhaps a health issue? What if it’s all of the above?

How do we cope? As odd as it may seem, scripture says this about trials. “Consider it pure joy, brothers and sisters, when you face various kinds of trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverence.” (James 1:2)

I am going through something right now at work with my boss. Seems we have a difference of perspective on how to handle situations. Challenging? You bet. Stressful – of course. But I have learned not to waste the pain.

Remember the old saying “No pain, no gain”. I believe it is true. In order to grow in our faith and our character, we must experience trials. There is always a lesson to be learned. Yes, we cry out to God and shake our fist at the seeming injustice. But fret not, the Lord promises us that He will avenge us and to leave things in His hands (Romans 12:19).

How to cope? First, I take a step back and wait for the emotions to settle down. I give myself a few days to pray about the situation and ask the Lord this question: “Lord, what am I supposed to be learning from this?” I read the Word and wait for God to answer. He always does. Just yesterday I received the same direction from two different sources to “love my enemy”. The more I prayed, the more revelation I received about the situation.

After taking it to the Lord in prayer, it is time to take action. I am a firm believer in clearing the air, and yes, it does take courage to confront. I have also learned it is much better to confront than to sweep things under the rug, because sooner or later the issue will resurface and need to be dealt with again. Clearing the air and reaching an understanding prevents bitterness, anger and resentment from building up inside, which is never a good thing.

So, dear friends, the next time you are going through a rough patch, don’t waste the pain and remember to keep looking up!

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