Delight in Hardship


Remember a few weeks ago I wrote about delighting in the Lord and my post was all about the sunrise and creation and delighting in my children?

Well, look what I read this morning:

“… for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” — II Corinthians 12:10

Ugh.

Am I really supposed to delight in those awful things in the same way I delight in the beauty of nature and good times?

Well, maybe not in the exact same way, but yeah, pretty much.

My thoughts are these:

We don’t delight enough just in general. We take the sunrise and the beauty of nature and the blessings of life for granted. That’s kinda what that first post was about, slowing down to actually see and delight in the good things.

But this Scripture here from Paul is telling us to delight not what we take for granted but for what we don’t even like. It’s not saying to like weakness and difficulty just for the heck of it but to delight in them because these are the things that grow us, i.e. strengthen us.

People — wise, Christian counselor people — have encouraged me during my darkest times to thank God in everything, meaning to thank Him for that dark time as a way of turning my dark time into praise.

It’s hard to do, to be thankful for something you don’t even like and that you wish weren’t happening. But Scripture says to — I Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances.”

Are we really supposed to thank Him for giving us cancer? For destroying our house with a tornado? For the car accident that killed our child? For failed marriages and sick children and lost jobs?

That doesn’t make sense; it’s counter to human nature to be thankful for things that hurt us.

Yet, Scripture says, in more than one place, to be thankful in ALL things, and here to delight in the bad things, because, it’s the hard things, for which we don’t want to be thankful, that grow us, as painful as it is.

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