Job was a wealthy, upright, God-fearing man who experienced extreme hardship and calamity in his life.  All his livestock was stolen or destroyed, his ten children died and he developed painful sores – all through no fault or failing on his behalf. His reaction was commendable – he didn’t accuse God of mistreatment, instead he said, “Even if He kills me I will trust Him” (Job 1:22, 13:15).  He said, “I’ll come out better because of it” (Job 23:10). Paul experienced extreme hardship too, yet maintained his faith to the end of his life and wanted all glory to be directed to God (2 Cor 4:7-9, 11:23-31; 2 Tim 4:7). No wonder he could advise Timothy, "keep your head in all situations, endure hardship...fulfill your ministry" (2 Tim 4:5). What is my response to hardship? Do I have a right heart attitude towards the Lord and those who are causing me this adversity? We are to praise Him and bless those who are His instruments to bring about His purposes in my life (1 Pet 3:9). Paul's attitude was he counted it a privilege to share in Christ's suffering (Phil 3:10).

Christianity is not an insurance policy to protect from life’s hardships and challenges which can come in a variety of ways. Although unpleasant rigorous training and suffering produces godly character in us if we are yielded to God and prepares us for what He has planned (Act 14:22; Rom 5:3-5; Heb 12:5-11; Jas 1:2-4; 1 Pet 1:6,7). God permits us to

Hold tightly onto Jesus who is always with you – Hebrews 13:5

experience suffering to prove our faith is genuine and to enable us to show empathy and provide comfort to others (2 Cor 1:3-11, 6:4-10). In this world we will have trouble, so focus on Jesus "who for the joy set before Him endured the cross" and withstand the hardships through His grace (Jn 16:33; Heb 12:2). Commit your way to the Lord, believe He is outworking, in and through you, what is best and maintain a thankful attitude knowing that nothing can separate you from His love (Prov 3:5,6; Rom 8:28,38,39; Phil 1:12-14; 1 Thes 5:16-18). It is through hardship our resolve to continue faithful to Christ is revealed.

See also: empathy, Job, persecution, self-pity, suffering, test/testing, trials, troubles.