Allow me to propose a change of mindset or a shift in perspective…
Hardship and blessing can co-exist. You may be struggling to pay the electric bill, but at least you have a loving family who’s willing to live in the dark with you. You may have a broken leg, but you have breath in your lungs. You may be struggling to find a job, but you have a Savior who absolutely loves you. Even in the midst of terrible hardship, the blessing that is a committed relationship to Christ is always available. Just because hard times come, it doesn’t mean that blessing is out of the question. Taking time to focus on those blessings will keep us from falling into despair.
Hardship is often a product of a blessing. Anyone who has ever gotten married, or had kids knows this. Being married is an incredible blessing. I love my wife more than I can say. That being said, it doesn’t mean that everything is always easy. In fact, the blessing of marriage has birthed plenty of hardships in our lives that only became possible once we were man and wife. Things like figuring out health insurance that will cover both of us and balancing time between our families. This is not a caution to “be careful what you wish for”. Rather, this is a reminder that perhaps many of the hardships in your life are a result of an incredible blessing God has given you. Perhaps instead of focussing on the hardship, we can use our thankfulness for the blessing as our fuel that pushes us forward and through the difficult circumstances. (I do not have kids, but I imagine it works much the same way)
Hardship often turns into blessing. Most often, our greatest hardships are really just blessings in their infancy. That new church that feels impossible to plant, grow, and sustain may one day be a blessing to hundreds, thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of people. That new business that makes you want to pull your hair out now may one day put your children through college. Those difficult college courses that cause you to do all nighters, the knowledge you gain there may one day land you that job you always dreamed of. Often times, rather than just plop a blessing right in our laps, God likes to invite us into the process of fanning the blessing into flame. God didn’t just tear down the wall at Jericho, he asked Joshua and his troops to walk first. God doesn’t do this to torment us, he does it because he knows that the blessing will mean so much more if it’s actually worked for. But we have to be willing to walk.