A Pair-of-Docs: The Serenity Prayer #4 Hardships --A Path to Peace


A Pair-of-Docs: The Serenity Prayer #4 Hardships --A Path to Peace


God grant me the serenity

to accept the things I cannot change;

courage to change the things I can;

and wisdom to know the difference.


Living one day at a time;

enjoying one moment at a time;

accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;

taking, as He did, this sinful world

as it is, not as I would have it;

trusting that He will make all things right

if I surrender to His Will;

that I may be reasonably happy in this life

and supremely happy with Him

forever in the next.



The next part of the serenity prayer we need to activate is dealing with hardships.

…accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;

taking, as He did, this sinful world

as it is, not as I would have it;

trusting that He will make all things right

if I surrender to His Will;


If you haven’t noticed, life is hard. 

Life contains unavoidable challenges. 

Difficulties Come and Go, So Accept Difficulties | Psychology Today


No one receives a “get out of suffering free card.” 

Accepting Hardships as the Path to Peace | Functionalish


You are going to be forced to deal with things in life that you don’t want to deal with.


Hardships can destroy your serenity,

that inner sense of peace that empowers hope,

that keeps you keeping on.


John 16:33 (NIV)

In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."


Followers of Jesus are not exempt from trouble; “from sufferings that come through nature, through other human beings, through their physical bodies, and through their disastrous choices.”  (E. Stanley Jones, Victorious Living, p.226)


To maintain serenity, “we must accept that life can be hard. If we think life will always go how we want, we will inevitably spend a lot of time being disappointed. 

Accept hardship as the pathway to peace - Serenity Prayer (part two) - SoberTool


          Life is often unfair and unjust, that’s the way it is in a broken world.


Allowing hardship to plant us on a path to peace involves accepting those sources of suffering we did not originally choose but that, being already ours, we are invited to accept. Accepting Hardships as the Path to Peace | Functionalish


Accepting means embracing the things that we instinctively want to

eliminate.  (ibid.)


Accepting demands a response that is counter-instinctual,

180 degrees opposite of what we naturally want to do.   (ibid.)


What we want to do is either fight against the suffering or ignore it.  (ibid.)


What Jesus asks is something quite different.  (ibid.)


Luke 14:27 (NIV)

And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.


The cross represents suffering and sacrifice.

          Carrying your cross means, you are dealing with hardship.


Taking up our cross is not, in the final analysis,

choosing between whether to suffer or not.

That choice is not ours.  (ibid.)


But we can choose to acknowledge the suffering rather than ignore it. 


And while holding it, we can choose to look toward God.  (ibid.)


Taking up our cross is allowing suffering to be a place of meeting

God.   Accepting Hardships as the Path to Peace | Functionalish


“Sorrow and suffering make some people querulous and bitter,

others it sweetens and refines. 

Same event but with opposite effects. 


What happens to us from without

does not determine the consequences…

[what] matters is not what happens to you,

but what you do with it after it does happen to you.”  (E. Stanley Jones, Victorious Living, p 227)


Consider Golgotha where they crucified not only Jesus but two others.

One complained and railed at Jesus for not saving himself and them;

the other accepted this tragedy as a result of his sins, repented, and

through it saw an open door into paradise. 

Jesus upon the cross redeemed humanity. (Jones, p. 227)


          When you accept hardship you can deal with the hardship,

making the right choices as you carry this cross.


We are not to escape suffering or merely to [accept] it, but to use it.” (Jones p.228)

“You cannot determine what happens to you, but you can determine what it shall do to you after it happens.” (Jones)


Use hardship to grow internally, build your character, refining your attitude and perceptions of events. 

These are changes necessary for you to walk the path of peace.


James 1:2-5 (MSG)

Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.

If you don't know what you're doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help.


          Considering hardship, pain, and suffering as a gift, is a miraculous change in



You can transform hardship from a stumbling block to a stepping stone.


Romans 5:3-5 (MSG)

There's more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we're hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we're never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can't round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!


This transformation is possible when you trust in God.

(Psalm 112:7   Isaiah 41:10   Romans 8:28)


Proverbs 3:5-6 (MSG)

Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don't try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he's the one who will keep you on track.


Trust begins with the decision to do so.


Trust is built in incremental steps, through your continued experience of God’s provision and help in times of trouble.


Trust is built as you practice the 7 habits of a disciple: Bible, Prayer, Fellowship, Service, Worship, Obedience, and Contemplation. These are your invitations to God to meet with you.


Trusting God means you believe that God will provide you with everything you need to get through whatever you are facing.


          The action of Trust is choosing to do life following God’s values.


Hardship is a path to peace when you accept the difficult situation, actively work to remedy the situation, trust God to supply what you need to effectively deal with the situation, and believe that God can use the situation and squeeze some good out of it if you follow Him through this valley.




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