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Respond the right way

14 February 2023 ‘We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials.’ Romans 5:3 NLT

In World War II, Viktor Frankl was sentenced to a Nazi concentration camp. The guards deprived him of everything. They took his wife, his family, and his clothes. They even stole his wedding ring. But he had one thing no one could take from him. In a classic book, he wrote, ‘The last of human freedoms is the ability to choose one’s attitude in a given set of circumstances.’ The guards could not take Frankl’s freedom to choose his attitude. We don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow, or even today, and we can’t control all our circumstances. But we can control how we respond to them. We can control whether an experience makes us stronger or weaker, increases our faith or our fear, makes us a better person or a bitter person. There’s a saying that goes: ‘The same sunshine that melts the butter hardens the clay.’ God wants our struggles to strengthen us. Paul wrote: ‘We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation [deliverance]. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love’ (v.3-5 NLT). Here’s one more point to think about: the tests and trials we go through in this life are what qualify us to reign with Christ in the next life. Knowing that will help us to respond to them in the right way!

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