Hardship Lessons

We celebrated St. Patrick’s Day last week, but it got kind of lost in all the craziness.  However, during this season we can learn a lot from him.  St. Patrick was a young man who at the age of 16 was kidnapped and made a slave in Ireland.  He was there approximately 6 years and then escaped.  Eventually he went back to Ireland as a missionary.  Many legends and stories surround what he did in Ireland, no matter what is true or fiction the reality is he made a big difference in that country and the people who lived there.

Hardships unfortunately, happen to everyone.  They may not be as extreme as St. Patrick's, but they are still hard for us to go through.  No one likes hardships, but the truth is many times they can help us develop into the men we were designed to be.  To help us during these times, we should remember the two truths of hardships.

Hardships Grow Us

  • Patrick came to know God while a slave in Ireland.  He later credits that time of suffering as a key part of his development.  We need to look at our hardships from a new perspective.  We need to look at our hardships and see the good things that came from them.  This doesn’t mean they were fun, but often times hardships help us grow.

  • We can choose to either grow from our hardships or get bitter about them.  We must not allow hardships to stop us from growing.  When we do that, we are allowing the hardship to control us and we will never be free of the pain.  Our life will become consumed with pain management instead of development and growth.  This will hurt us and those we live with.

Hardships Bring Purpose

  • The amazing story of Patrick shines for us because of his ultimate purpose.  Patrick went back to Ireland as a missionary and impacted the whole country.  He found his purpose through the hardships of his life.  How many times do we hear stories of men who found their purpose through their adversity?  Our purpose could be right before our eyes when we look through the eyes of our hardships.

  • A man’s purpose doesn’t mean he will live with ease and affluence.  It means, he will live with real meaning.  Many men today are working for money, but what they really want is a purpose.  They want to live for something that makes a real difference.  We should reframe the hardships in our life and begin to see how our very purpose could be found in the depths of some of our hardest times.

Your hardships do not need to be forgotten, but they need to be forged to find the growth and purpose within them.  I challenge you to reframe your suffering and begin to live a life of purpose that may have been born during your struggles.

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