“Instead of explaining our suffering, God shares it.”
One’s life . . . cannot be both faith-filled and stress-free. . . . Therefore, how can you and I really expect to glide naively through life, as if to say, ”Lord, give me experience, but not grief, not sorrow, not pain, not opposition, not betrayal, and certainly not to be forsaken. Keep from me, Lord, all those experiences which made Thee what Thou art! Then let me come and dwell with Thee and fully share Thy joy!” . . .Real faith . . . is required to endure this necessary but painful developmental process.
“One speaker in Church directs, “You can’t do everything. Don’t run faster than you have strength”. The next says, “Push yourself. You can always do more.” One person advises, “Don’t worry about what you can’t do” at the same time someone else says, “You can do anything you put your mind to.” In one hymn we sing, “I need thee every hour,” and in another we sing, “We will work out our salvation”. In this world of mixed messages, I never can seem to escape the nagging though, “If only I were better organized or if only I tried harder.” Satan tempted Christ with the word, ‘if.’ He often comes to me with the words, ‘if only.’”
“Obedience gives us greater control over our lives, greater capacity to come and go, to work and create. Of course, age, accident, and illnesses inevitably take their toll, but even so, our obedience to this gospel law enhances our capacity to deal with these challenges.”
Your trust in the Lord must be more powerful and enduring than your confidence in your own personal feelings and experience.
To exercise faith is to trust that the Lord knows what He is doing with you and that He can accomplish it for your eternal good even though you cannot understand how He can possibly do it. We are like infants in our understanding of eternal matters and their impact on us here in mortality. Yet at times we act as if we knew it all. When you pass through trials for His purposes, as you trust Him, exercise faith in Him, He will help you. That support will generally come step by step, a portion at a time. While you are passing through each phase, the pain and difficulty that comes from being enlarged will continue. If all matters were immediately resolved at your first petition, you could not grow.”
A pebble held close to the eye appears to be a gigantic obstacle. Cast on the ground, it is seen in perspective. Likewise, problems or trials in our lives need to be viewed in the perspective of scriptural doctrine. Otherwise they can easily overtake our vision, absorb our energy, and deprive us of the joy and beauty the Lord intends us to receive here on earth.
“Sometimes the Lord calms the storm, and sometimes he lets the storm rage and calms the child.”
“We are to solve our own problems and then to counsel with the Lord in prayer and receive a spiritual confirmation that our decisions are correct.”
“Adversity should not be viewed as either disfavor from the Lord or a withdrawal of His blessings. Opposition in all things is part of the refiner’s fire to prepare us for an eternal celestial destiny.”