Words of Hope: Delight in Difficulty
One of the hardest lessons I have learned is the discipline to delight in difficulty. Our NBC Central office team has been practicing this for almost 10 years, but it still is not easy or natural. When something difficult happens, our team comes together to pray and to give thanks. We do this to honor my dad’s example of thanking God even as he fought stage four cancer. We also do this in hope and obedience to trust God that He can use this difficulty for good.
I have seen the benefit of this practice time and again. We stop to say, “thank you” and pray to see the miracle and goodness God has in store from this challenge, insult, difficulty, weakness, or persecution. I have learned that abundance can be more dangerous than hardship. I have strayed more from God in the easy times than in the hard times.
Saying “thank you” puts me in the mindset of hope and gratitude. A mindset of fear, retribution, anxiety, or scarcity cannot provide me with the wisdom to handle the difficulty that has been handed to me. Instead, our team chooses to delight in difficulty because we know God will need to be fully present and active for this challenge to move toward good. We acknowledge that by this discipline the goodness and hopeful, peaceful, or miraculous outcome we desire can only come by God’s hand.
If you visit our office and we receive a piece of unwelcome news or hardship, I pray that you will see us pause, come together, thank the Lord, and prayerfully ask for His help in turning this for good. I hope you see that we don’t fret or complain but truly find joy in difficulty because God is moving and strong in our weakness. We pray through these circumstances He will be exalted, He will be strong.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, 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.
– 2 Corinthians 12:9-12