That which doesn’t slay me, strengthens me.
I agree with this statement; please allow me to defend my view.
Let us pretend there are two women. Both are in the same predicament: they are married to drunkards, are weary from ‘living’ in their terribly poor conditions(they both dwell in the slums), and to provide for their children, do laundry for those in better financial circumstances than they.
The first woman, her name being Polly(meaning great sorrow), is a Christian in the sense that she believes in her Lord Jesus, who has saved her from her sins. But, she doesn’t read her Bible often, and knows nothing therefore of her Savior’s plan for His followers- that they have hope! As a result, she is a bitter woman, who despises her husband and his addiction, complains about her children being so terribly burdensome, is always wishing and wishing and wishing for a better life, and who simply longs for the end of her life.
The second woman, allow me to dub her Betha(meaning life), is a Christian who studies her Heavenly Father’s Word. She knows a lot of it by heart, and has found that Jesus came to give her abundant life. She avoids complaining, knowing that it could very well slay her, and drag her down into the deepest of pits, like her poor friend Polly. She pities Polly, because she has such a hard life and always looks so ragged. She loves her children, and is glad she is able to support them and not ill. She avoids looking into the past and future and wishing she could have a better life instead of the one she has- really, her life doesn’t seem so bad compared to those around her.
Both women are going through the same thing, but each has chosen a different way to react to her circumstances. One chose to believe it is a punishment, disgrace, and horror. She wallows in her depths of self-pity and the expansive mud of her shallow dreams. Polly, for it is she we are talking of, does not know her Savior’s true wishes- that she would live an abundant life.
Betha, on the other hand, has laid hold of a great promise we have been given- that Jesus has come to give us life! She believes that the trials she goes through are simply God’s chariots that carry her to the higher places. She knows that although her husband is sinning, his sins are, once they touch her, are God’s will for her life. Betha rejoices in everything, and although her life is hard, the hardships are dimmer in the light of God’s hope, which overshadows her circumstances and gives her strength for each day. Because she has hope and feels like her life is not that terrible, she can help those around her who are even in perhaps the same circumstances.
So you see, that we can let our circumstances slay us or strengthen us by the choices we make- we can believe God’s promises for our lives, or sink far into the wallow of promises broken and dreams dashed.
It is a choice we all have to make sooner or later.
This was a school assignment for a program we're doing by Sonlight, called History of God's Kingdom. I recommend it.