Attitudes in times of trouble

Published 6:00 am Friday, February 15, 2019

It’s easy to be a ray of sunshine when a person’s life is full of good things. Some people appear to walk through life with blessings on every hand, but not troubles or heartaches. I used to think I knew people who fit that description.

Over time, I’ve seen those same people go through very difficult and hurtful things in life. Some have faced physical illnesses of their own. Others have faced the loss of loved ones, broken marriages or financial disasters.

To every life there are seasons. No one season will last forever. It is absolutely sure that if a person continues to live, joy will turn to mourning, and mourning will return to joy.

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The big question on my mind today is how we respond to these seasons of our lives. When all is well, do we share the joy with others? When we are happy, do we ignore those around us who are hurting or in trouble because we don’t want our own happiness to be impacted?

When we are in a difficult season, do we wallow in it, whine our way through and ignore others who are suffering as well? Do we resent those who are in their season of joy? Or do we recognize that we are not the center of the universe and that there are others around us whose needs are as great or greater than our own?

Perspective is everything.

As a woman of faith, I’m still learning my lessons about life and about relationship with God. I’m still a student of His love.

An incident happened recently to someone very close to me involving a change in their job situation. It came as a shock to them.

My first instinct was to feel sorry for the person and feel really, really bad for them. Then the truth hit me. The person may have been surprised, but God wasn’t. He doesn’t look at our lives in the morning and say, “Hmmm. I wonder what will happen to this child of mine today?” He knows ahead of time what we will face.

My prayers for this person went from praying about the challenging aspects of the situation to thanking God that He is intimately involved in the lives of those who love Him. We may not be able to see the answer to our problems, and usually can’t see the resolution to a difficult situation when it takes us by surprise. But we have a promise that if we belong to God and put our trust in Him, even the worst of situations is redeemable, and He will bring the best out of the situation in our behalf or will bring the best out of us because of the situation.

I began to thank God with confidence that He is directing this person’s path. No matter what plan we have for ourselves, or how good that plan may seem with our human logic and intellect, that plan is never as good as God’s plan for us.

How do I know this with such confidence? I have experienced this truth time and time again in my own life. Putting my faith in God instead of the problem has never been a mistake.

For this person’s sake, I’ve gone from worry to worship. I’ve gone from fear and disappointment to excitement. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this crossroad, this turning point in their life is going to point them in a better direction, a more fulfilled life, and opportunities that they would have missed if they had stayed stuck in their old work situation.

I don’t have the ability to change a single thing in another person’s life. But I can change my perspective about their trouble. Instead of whining, getting angry, or helping them play the blame game, or “poor little you,” I can be the friend who comforts and encourages them and holds out the love of God and hope for the future to them. And I can be the person who stands with them while this troubled season passes and rejoices with them when the season of blessing arrives.

Reach longtime Enterprise columnist Judith Victoria Hensley at or on Facebook. Check out her blog: One Step Beyond the Door.