Hard Times Reveal Strength or Weakness

You never know how prepared you are until you hit hard times. Andy Stanley makes this point in his book, The Principle of the Path. This is part three in a series on the book.

Hard Times Don’t Cause Problems. Hard Times Reveal Problems.

It’s true isn’t it? Hard times are revealing. Andy says that economic downturns don’t cause problems as much as they reveal them. When you are flush with income, it doesn’t really matter how well you save or invest. You can afford to run up some debt because you always have enough to make the next payment. No one really knows if you are financially responsible or not because there is always enough money to go around.

But turn off the cash flow and it’s amazing what you find.  Some people are able to whether the storm because they’ve developed a cash reserve. They aren’t overextended on credit so they don’t have many bills to pay. Others aren’t so lucky. When the money dries up they are in crisis. No reserves and heavily leveraged.

Warren Buffet said you never know who is skinny dipping until the tide goes out. Exactly. Hard times are revealing.

Death and Sickness Reveal Your Relational Path

I’m currently involved in a funeral preparation for a family in my church.  As I drove away from the hospital on the night of the death I was impressed with the level of support that immediately surrounded the family of the deceased.  I have another church member suffering a significant, life-threatening disease. They too have been pleasantly surprised at the depth of support they have received during this time. As hard as these two situations are, they both revealed something very positive.  Through the years they walked a path that cultivated strong relationships with quality people.

What Path Are You Following?

But not everyone is so lucky. The Principle of the Path is a warning that we are all on a path somewhere.  You might think life is good and you are headed in the right direction until you hit hard times. You might not have the money you thought you had. You might not have the friends you thought you had. You might not have the connection with God that you wished you had.

The Principle of the Path asks, if you hit hard times today, are you deep enough financially, relationaly, spiritually, etc. to not just survive but overcome?  Answer that question and then make the corrections necessary to get on the path that will help you thrive, even in the face of hard times.

Question: What have hard times revealed in your life? Leave your comment below.

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3 thoughts on “Hard Times Reveal Strength or Weakness

  1. judithdoran

    Okay F. Remy, you’ve done it again! Another book on my must read list. I learned much a few years ago when my son was involved in a helicopter mishap, I lost my job, and my husband almost died from a complication of rheumatoid arthritis all in the same year What helped me more than anything was the real felt presence of God–that even in the darkest moments, God was present.

    1. F. Remy Diederich Post author

      When you experience a season of suffering like you did, you realize that you truly do “reap what you sow”. I don’t mean you reaped suffering. You reaped the presence of God because you were on the right path prior to the suffering. You were cultivating a relationship with God that ultimately helped you when “the tide went out” on your life. Thanks Judith for sharing. Glad you like the book.

  2. Pingback: The Principle of the Path on Getting Lost - F. Remy Diederich

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