While going through a trial do you ever think “Why is this happening? I am doing everything right or at least trying to! Why is this terrible thing happening to me?” Well, even if you haven’t thought that I am sure something bad has happened even if you are trying your hardest to choose the right.
It could be something smaller like your baby isn’t sleeping well, maybe your husband lost his job, maybe you can’t find a husband, maybe your basement started flooding right when you were trying to sell it, maybe you get in a wreck that wasn’t your fault, or how about 2 months of quarantine?!?!
But what if I told you you could be GLAD for all those things? What if instead of dread you could look with joy at those hardships? Why? HOW? Good question.
Why tribulations are good for us
Adam fell that men might be and men are that they might have joy. I think often we focus a lot on the joy part that we forget that he had to fall first. Remember Eve took the fruit so they might know the bad that they may know the good. But that is only part of it.
3 Ye cannot behold with your natural eyes, for the present time, the design of your God concerning those things which shall come hereafter, and the glory which shall follow after much tribulation.
4 For after much tribulation come the blessings. Wherefore the day cometh that ye shall be crowned with much glory; the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand.
Kind of like faith precedes the miracle. We can’t earn the blessings without working for them. We might not want to go through that ‘much tribulation’ part but we can’t get to the glory and blessings without it.
Charles M. Sheldon expressed it excellently when he said, “Our Christianity loves its ease and comfort too well to take up anything so rough and heavy as a cross.” If we want to become like Christ, then we must do as He did, and I don’t remember Him ever taking the easy route.
No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God … and it is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we come here to acquire and which will make us more like our Father and Mother in heaven”
None of it is wasted! That brings such peace and reassurance. Especially when I feel like I didn’t learn anything from an experience. Maybe I can’t apply it yet, maybe it is just something to think about to make connections. But we are always learning something.
So looking back at Doctrine and Covenants, what are some of the blessings? Education, development, character building, pure hearts, expanded souls. We CAN’T get those things without trials and hardship. In fact,
“If you question everything you are asked to do, or dig in your heels at every unpleasant challenge, you make it harder for the Lord to bless you”Finding Joy in Life
Elder Richard G. Scott
Be excited about tribulations!
We CAME HERE to have trials and hardships that we might learn to become like Heavenly Father! We should be thrilled when something challenging comes up! Think, “Sweet! An OPPORTUNITY to grow and become better!”
We spend too much time trying to make things easier. I can get behind having a dishwasher and washing machine and technology. But what are we DOING with that newfound time? But that is a topic for another day. Haha.
But we shun challenges or think we must be doing something wrong if there are hardships in our lives. If challenges and hardships mean we are growing and becoming better, then we should be worried if we aren’t having them because then we are getting weak! Don’t become spiritually flabby! Give your soul a workout!
In fact, if you ARE experiencing a time of prosperity, use it to prepare yourselves for the future. Are you able to store up food? Pay a generous fast offering? Really delve into the scriptures and strengthen your testimony? Spend more time serving in the temple? We strengthen our bodies so they can handle heavy loads as the need arises. It isn’t time to do a workout when it is time to carry all your groceries up the stairs. It is well before.
During a particularly trying time, if you want to ask Why? Instead ask, What am I to learn? How can I use this to grow? And then when you feel or see that you have made it to the other side, look back and see how you have changed. You might not be able to name in words what exactly it was, but ponder how you may be different because of it. It is so important to look back at your growth and not get caught up in all your imperfections.
If you are struggling or going through something hard, how can you be more patient and even cheerfully endure? Remember, this is a lesson. Ask, what am I to learn? Be excited! You’re growing!
Consider if we are entirely dependent upon God, then He can take our limitations and our weaknesses and magnify them into strengths useful for His divine purposes.
This reminds me of Ether 12:27
And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.Ether 12:27
Our weaknesses come from God. And all things that God gives are good. So take up the cross and humbly turn to Him for strength and increase in your education, self-development, character, purify your heart, and expand your soul. Don’t let a good trial go wasted, but make the most out of it.