The Benefits of Struggle
Overcoming challenges is what develops in us the qualities needed to fulfil God’s will for our lives. The truth is, it can’t happen any other way. In 2 Corinthians Paul spells out the benefits of going through hard times. Yes, there are actually benefits! Let’s take a moment and look at some of them.
(1) ‘...so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction...’ (2 Corinthians 1:4 NAS) When people know you’re qualified to speak, they listen. Otherwise, they politely tune you out. Built into every problem that forces you to grow are the answers those around you need. When you can say, ‘I have been there,’ people respect you and pay attention. Experience is one of your greatest assets and God will use it.
(2) ‘...that we would not trust in ourselves...’ (2 Corinthians 1:9 NAS) Anything that causes us to turn to God and lean harder on Him is an asset, not a liability. It’s when we lose a job, a marriage, a loved one, our health or our peace of mind that we turn to God and discover what He can do.
(3) ‘...that thanks may be given...’ (2 Corinthians 1:11 NAS) Do you remember what your life was like before you met the Lord? The Psalmist wrote, ‘He… brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock...’ (Psalm 40:2 NKJV) Come on, lift up your voice and begin to praise God for what He has done for you! After all, where would you be without Him? It doesn’t bear thinking about, does it?