Have you ever wondered why some people get through adversity with seemingly few scars, yet others find it difficult to come up for breath?

Have you ever thought to yourself, “I would never cope with that situation”, or conversely, “That’s nothing compared to what I’ve been through, they should be coping better than that!”

There are so many reasons why we all cope differently in similar situations. We need to remember that each one of us is uniquely designed by God (even identical siblings). Comparing your coping abilities to someone else is a fruitless exercise. A more helpful exercise is to put that energy into building your resilience so that you can cope with adversity in a more helpful way.

There are a number of things that can help to build resilience and improve mental health, particularly when looking at them from a Christian worldview. The first one I want to talk about is ‘perspective’, ie your perspective on life.

Have a think about your perspective. What are your expectations when it comes to the struggles you endure? Do you generally expect that life should be ‘rosy’ most of the time, with only a few problems along the way? Do you then become overwhelmed when it doesn’t work out that way?  Perhaps you believe that big problems should only happen to other people. Or maybe you see the bad things in your life as punishment for things you may have done wrong.

When you believe that all should go well and you should nearly always be happy, then you will have feelings of failure and disappointment. Perhaps you may even have anger towards your struggles or God. The thoughts of, ‘this shouldn’t be happening to me’, or ‘I deserve this’ will similarly bring about negative emotions.

Let’s take a look at what God has to say about the struggles we have in life. Should they be happening? Or have we done something wrong to bring these troubles upon ourselves?

Here are some Bible verses for you to consider, which may help to balance your perspective on the struggles you encounter:

  • John 16:33  – In this world we will have trouble
  • John 9:1-3  – Our struggles can bring God glory
  • Romans 5:3-5  – Suffering helps us to grow
  • Psalm 23 – Struggles draw us closer to God

The first verse seems to be a bit of a downer – promising trouble. But the good news comes in the other 3 verses…

As Christians, we want to bring glory to God – struggles help us do that!

As Christians we want to grow into maturity – struggles help us do that!

As Christians, we want to draw closer to God – struggles help us do that!

Coming to the realisation that we will have struggles goes a long way towards helping us accept them as a part of the big picture.  By accepting them, it can help to lessen the anxiety that may occur. And lessening the anxiety helps us, instead, to focus on bringing glory to God, becoming mature in Christ, and drawing closer to Him.

Change your perspective, build your resilience, improve your mental health.

God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.

Psalm 46:1

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