So, trials must come. What are we to do when they surface? Some suggestions are in order:
- We must keep our focus upon the Lord and not upon the problem. We have to know that he understands our distress and means to sustain us through the difficulty.
- We must offer it over to him. The Lord, though not the author of our ills, is able to use them to his purposes. As we turn them over to him, he is freed to make of them whatever he may deem appropriate. He will use them for our ultimate good.
- We have to continue to give due praise and honour to God. Even thanksgiving. A good procedure to follow is to thank him for the blessings, the good things that happen, and to thank him in the things that happen that are not so good.
- It is important for us, in each instance of adversity, to acknowledge whatever degree of sin or guilt may be ours. Sometimes, our problems are partly, or even totally, of our own making. We should simply repent, confess our sins, and let the Lord get on with his plan.
- If someone else is involved in the difficulty, we should get it up front as quickly as possible, open it up with him or her, make it known to our spiritual director, our share group, or the community, whatever seems right. The Lord likes to operate in the light and not in the dark.
- Whatever it is, we need to share it with others, at least one other person, perhaps a brother who is very close. A difficulty shared is a difficulty cut in half.
- We should ask the Lord for strength, the grace, whatever we need to get through it. His help is available. He is close by and very interested.
- We have to tell God we trust in him, that we intend to be faithful to him no matter what, and that we intend to persevere to the end.
“In any case, we must respond to adversity in some way. We must do something about it.”
If we don't, we will have to resign ourselves to experiencing the results of stress. Our sleep patterns can get disturbed. We can feel knots in the stomach. We will find ourselves becoming overtired very easily, perhaps feeling tired most of the time. We might even begin to notice ourselves doing uncharacteristic things, giving into temper when things annoy us, saying and doing things that are downright silly.