One guarantee we have in life is that although we’ll experience some good times, we won’t have smooth sailing all the time. Trouble is bound to show up; when it does, being mentally prepared for it makes it easier to bear. However, sometimes having one bad thing after another dropped on us in rapid-fire sequence can leave us feeling overwhelmed. We may feel so weighed down that we can’t go another step, but grace is available to us to keep us moving forward.
There’s always a silver lining to every dark cloud and a bright side to every situation. With the proper attitude, we can come out of every tough situation stronger than before. Just when we’re bombarded with issues that threaten to break us down emotionally, God’s grace gives us strength that we didn’t know we had. “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness…” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
The popular saying “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade” emphasizes the importance of a positive attitude in turning things around when the situation looks bad. We “make lemonade” by deliberately choosing a good attitude and refusing to let whatever is going on at the moment steal our joy. Jesus told His disciples to respond to trouble differently than the rest of the world. “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). The knowledge that God has directed His favor squarely toward us enables us to be cheerful.
Happiness comes from how we feel, but joy comes from what we know. When we know that Jesus has already overcome the world, we realize that we certainly can overcome whatever situation we’re struggling with. When we feel stuck in it, that’s just an illusion; He’ll take us by the hand and walk us out of our mess. Contemplating this brings us peace that the world doesn’t have. “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give…” (John 14:27, NLT).
Peace and joy are closely linked. When we let ourselves be led by the Holy Spirit, the administrator of the new covenant of grace, we’re at peace and feel joy washing over us in abundance. This joy comes from God; it’s what makes us strong. “…For the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10).
Grace has made everything available to us that we’ll ever need to win over adversity. All we need to do is use our faith to take what has been prepared for us. Jesus’ death and resurrection did this for us. It’s a simple concept, but one most people can’t grasp or understand. “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18).
The next time we’re in a situation, we don’t have to let it stop us in our tracks. As believers, we don’t go through trouble alone. We have the right to come confidently before our heavenly Father and ask for help. “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). God’s favor has been extended to us.