Devotions based on Lisa McMinn’s book, The Contented Soul
When we go through hard times and respond rightly, it teaches us resilience and hope. Struggle is good because it builds fortitude, the endurance that develops through hardship and difficulty. We can learn to trust that God is doing His transforming work in us as we seek Him in our times of misery as well as joy. In Phil 4 we are told to rejoice even when life is tough. God is near and watching. In James we are told to see value in suffering because it produces perseverance, character, and hope. When we have everyday annoyances and pain we are given the opportunity to practice contentment that transcends our circumstances. Even when we have physical pain like a migraine headache, it can give us an increased sensitivity to others. We can learn from our minor aches that can prepare us for greater suffering. As parents we have to resist the urge to overprotect and overindulge our children. When we pave the road too smoothly, they have a harder time coping with life’s disappointments in adulthood. Let us learn to sit with some measure of sadness, or some level of anxiety, some amount of sleeplessness so we know how humanity feels and also how Christ suffered for us. When we accept struggle as part of living in a broken world and carry on rather than giving up, we are exercising fortitude. Fortitude helps us embrace His mercy and grace, and contentment has a chance to settle deep within us.