“God intended it all for good.” Ge 50:20 NLT
Rising to a challenge reveals hidden abilities within you that otherwise would have remained dormant. Just as you find out what’s inside a tube of toothpaste when it gets squeezed, adversity reveals what you’re made of. Sometimes we say, “I could never go through what that person went through. I would die.” Then you go through it, and guess what? Your heart keeps beating. Your world goes on. You don’t know what you’re capable of until you have to cope. Wise people have always understood the connection between suffering and growth. Meng Tzu, the Chinese sage, said, “When heaven is about to confer a great responsibility on any man it will place obstacles in the path of his deeds so as to stimulate his mind, harden his nature, and improve wherever he is incompetent.” God could have let Abraham stay in the comfort of Ur, and Moses in the splendor of Pharaoh’s courts. He could have kept Daniel out of the lions’ den, Nehemiah out of captivity, Jonah out of the whale, John the Baptist away from Herod, Esther from being threatened, Jeremiah from being rejected, and Paul from being shipwrecked. But He didn’t. In fact, God used each of these trials to bring them closer to Himself—to produce perseverance, character and hope. It’s said, “The school of hard knocks produces the greatest scholars.” And guess who the teacher is? Adversity! You either face it with God, or without Him. And those without God are watching you. When they see your faith sustain you and God bring you through, they’ll get interested in what you have to say. And not before!