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Life is hard. There are difficulties in every area of life. We cannot escape this; it’s simply part of our human experience.

Photo by Jeremy Perkins on Unsplash

However, we do not have to play victim to life’s circumstances. While we don’t always get to choose the obstacles we face, we do get to choose how we respond.

We have the freedom to interpret and find meaning in our difficulties.

Reconsider Your Interpretations

Are your interpretations meaningful and life-giving, or are they frustrating and depleting?

For example, we can interpret a red light as just another daily irritation that leads to a bad day. Or, we can interpret this same light as a moment to pause and catch our breath in the middle of a busy day.

The choice is ours.

The red light doesn’t change, but our interpretation does. The first brings frustration, while the second brings greater calm and peace.

Discover Meaning

Our freedom to reinterpret our difficulties is not suggesting we should create some pie-in-the-sky, wishful interpretation that denies reality.

Reality is our friend and true, lasting meaning is grounded in reality.

At the same time, when we discover meaning in our difficulties, we can rise above the circumstance and grow toward the best version of ourselves.

Difficulties are an opportunity for growth.

Refined by Difficulties

The Apostle Paul reminds us our present struggles are producing for us a weight of glory that will last forever (2 Corinthians 4:16-18).

This does not change the reality of life’s difficulties – they are still very hard to endure – but it does place a larger frame around our hardships, and gives us hope.

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though we face many difficulties, we trust we are being transformed into our greater.

Face the difficulties of life in the hope of our coming glory.

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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