If we want to overcome difficulties we must value character more than we value comfort. Many people shelter themselves from difficulties and never learn how to overcome the problems in their life. Instead, they retreat until the storm passes, or they just run away. Retreating and running leaves us stuck and we’re unable to mature beyond those problems.
Take relationships for example, when we’re faced with a challenge that requires us to grow deeper in our relationship, we leave and start over with someone else. Or we retreat into our safe zone and go about our business, both parties choosing to ignore and overlook the issue. If you want to overcome difficulties you need to have; a good attitude, an understanding mind, a yielding will and a believing heart.
1. A good attitude – Our outlook determines our outcome, and our attitude determines our actions. With a positive attitude we see troubles as an opportunity for personal growth that can make us a better person. When we live only for the present, forgetting about the future, troubles make us bitter. It’s easy to keep a positive attitude during the good times, but learning how through the bad times requires inner strength. When we learn to look within ourselves to carry us through, as opposed to people and things on the outside, we grow as individuals. When you live for the things that matter most (relationships), difficulties won’t cripple us, they’ll strengthen us.
2. An understanding mind – We must know when we’re tested that it’s an opportunity for our endurance to grow. We must practice patience if want to grow our endurance. Unfortunately, most people run out of patience before the troubles pass. We look for shortcuts and quick fixes, because we’re internally weak, but when we’re patient and ride out the storm, the reward is worth it.
3. A yielding will – We must let our endurance grow. Character isn’t built without our cooperation. If we try to go through difficulties without surrendering our own will and ways, we will end up more like immature children than mature adults. Sometimes we need to be weaned from childish toys, and immature attitudes. With fully developed endurance we lack nothing.
4. A believing heart - We must ask for wisdom. There is true wisdom and there is worldly wisdom, be mindful of who you ask for wisdom from. Wisdom is gained through truth, and truth can’t be taught, it has to be revealed. Know what you believe and why you believe. Don’t be divided in your loyalty, this creates an unstable life and person.
Endurance is not a passive acceptance of circumstances, it’s a courageous perseverance in the face of suffering. If we value material and physical things more than we value character and spiritual things, we aren’t able to consider trouble as an opportunity for greater joy. When we respond well, the troubles and difficulties work for us. The ability or inability to resolve the problems in our life either builds up, or tears down.
Learn patience, endurance, and the ability to keep going when things are tough.