We all have defining moments in our lives that are meant to mold us into the person God intended us to become. Most of the time, these moments can be painful, uncomfortable, and make us feel out-of-control. How we handle them can make all the difference in our lives and in the lives of the people around us.

In one of my favorite poems, Robert Frost writes: “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.” Our decisions to fight through the pain and not give in to the world’s shortcuts will enable us to travel the road God has marked out for us (Hebrews 12:1).

Why Do We Go Through Hard Times?

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

James 1:2-4

The Bible teaches us that God uses life experiences to shape us and help us grow. When we become mature and complete, not lacking anything, we are able to make a difference in the lives around us (1 Timothy 4:16).

Our pains are suppose to lead us closer to God and expose what is really inside of us. If it wasn’t for losing my mother at a young age and later moving to a different country to pursue my dreams, I would never have become the man God is making me into today. The challenges have been hard, but they have shaped me.

A Matter of Perspective

But now trouble comes to you, and you are discouraged; it strikes you, and you are dismayed.

Job 4:5

We can have different emotional reactions when we go through pain. One is focused on God and who God is maturing us to become, and the other is focused on our circumstances, which makes us want to run away and avoid the pain.

Built to Last

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

James 1:12

Choosing to be patient during hard times will bring us closer to God and give us a crown that no life circumstance can ever take away.

How do you respond to pain and suffering in your life?

How is God trying to mature you?

Who can you become if you persevere instead of running from the pain?