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In Difficult Times, Character Counts

In Difficult Times, What Happens in You
is Most Important

By Rick Warren

“Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, ‘Unless these men stay with the ship, you cannot be saved’” (Acts 27:31 NIV).

Life is not fair. You will have problems, difficulties, and hurts that will make you better or bitter. You will either grow up or give up. Either you’ll become who God wants you to be or your heart will become hard. You have to decide how you are going to respond to the tough times in your life. How will you handle it? When you go through those difficult times, what happens to you is not nearly as important as what happens in you. That’s what you take into eternity — not the circumstances but your character.

In Acts 27, we learn three ways you shouldn’t respond in trials:

  1. Don’t drift.
    When they face difficulty, some people start drifting through life. They have no goal, purpose, ambition, or dream for their life. Today, we call this “coasting.” The problem with coasting is that you’re headed downhill. Life is not a coast. Life’s tough. Don’t lose your ambition or your dream just because life gets hard.
  2. Don’t discard.
    When you get in a storm and the stress gets unbearable, you tend to start abandoning values and relationships you would not let go of in better times. You say, “I’m giving up on my marriage. I’m giving up on my dream to go to college.”
  3. Don’t despair.
    “God is with you in the storm, and he’ll help you through it.