December 11
Responding to Hardship 

1 Peter 4:12-19

When you face a trial, what is your first response? You probably would like to run away as quickly as possible to escape it. Though this is a normal feeling, God has a different way.

It is not the trials in your life that develop or destroy you, but rather your response to those hardships. How, then, should we react when difficulties feel overwhelming?

First, trust God. Believe His Word and reflect on ways He has been faithful in the past. He assures us that He limits our trials and enables us to endure.

Second, persevere. Even when we don't understand and the pain seems too great to bear, we should never quit. Continue seeking the Lord through His Word and prayer. Cling to hope in Christ, and praise Him in the midst of the pain.

Third, remember that our sovereign God is in control. He's allowing this adversity for a reason and will demonstrate His sustaining power through it. Even though the pain might feel intolerable, the Lord will prosper us. Scripture compares our growth to gold, which is refined through fire (1 Peter 1:7). Often, I hear believers reflect on a difficult time and admit that despite the intense hurt, they wouldn't change the situation. They see the beauty God created through the struggle and realize its value.

We will encounter difficulties—sometimes intense and painful trials that seem too much for us. Yet we can rely on our heavenly Father to deliver and grow us in ways we could never imagine. He doesn't demand that we endure on our own, but He does allow us to respond and trust Him. 

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