Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Value of Bad Times

“Bad times have a scientific value. These are occasions a good learner would not miss.”~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Are you a good learner? I wonder sometimes if I am. I often repeat mistakes before I learn from them. I trust and extend goodwill, despite being burned in the past by those I’ve trusted. I won’t say it hasn’t made me more guarded, though, because it has.

Yet embracing bad times as valuable means a willingness to walk through a trial instead of asking God to remove it. Tough one, huh?

So maybe the better question is: Am I a willing learner?

"A heart well prepared for adversity in bad times hopes, and in good times fears for a change in fortune." ~Horace, Roman poet

How do we prepare for adversity? For a Christian, that means staying rooted in God’s Word and at His feet in prayer. If we do that, we need not fear a “change in fortune” because we know He will guide and comfort us through trials, ultimately seeking to work out things for our good (Romans 8:28). I can say this with great assurance because I’ve experienced His comfort and guidance through the tough times. And in hindsight, I’ve often been able to see why He allowed the trial instead of removing it. My spiritual growth was exponentially greater because of the adversity I faced.

When times are good, be happy;
but when times are bad, consider this:
God has made the one
as well as the other.
Therefore, no one can discover
anything about their future.

Would it help if we knew our future? Probably not. As Horace observed, it would fuel our fears and rob us of happiness during good times. God’s plan is always better than ours. The ebb and flow of good and bad is something He has deemed worthy for us to experience to grow deeper in our relationship with Him. We simply have to trust Him in all things, whether good or bad.

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:2-4 

Are you ready to embrace adversity as an opportunity for growth?

I’d love to pray for your needs. Please share in the comments section below or e-mail me confidential requests. J

I’m excited to announce the launch of my quarterly newsletter, “So You Want To Be Encouraged!” at the end of September. In the inaugural edition, I’ll share my exciting publishing news and give away one copy of master wreath maker Nancy Alexander’s “Deck The Halls: How to Make A Christmas Wreath” Kindle book, just in time for the holidays. To be eligible for the drawing to win her book, you simply have to be a newsletter subscriber. The subscription box is at the top right-hand side of this blog. I’ll announce the winner in the first newsletter.

God bless,

©Laura Hodges Poole

“Bad Day Calendar” photo courtesy of Stuart Miles/
“Fresh Green Tree Growing” photo courtesy of Just2Shutter/


  1. Beautiful post, Laura! Exactly what I needed today. I'm so glad the Lord is in control and He has a purpose for everything we experience.

    Congratulations on the newsletter and I look forward to hearing your publishing news! Exciting days! God bless~

  2. Good post, Laura. It's obvious you are not just giving us words you've read, but instead are sharing those you tested in your trials. Thank you.

  3. Difficulties in life help me learn to trust God more and they show me area's where I need to grow in my faith. They help build me up, purify me. Make me stronger.
    I'm not always "willing" as I go through tough times, but God never leaves me and He understands that some trials are more painful and He's there to provide comfort.

    I'd love to win a book on making a wreath. We just bought a new home and It would be great to make something special for it this Christmas. Though I'm not very crafty.