When was the last time you thanked God for allowing you to face a time of affliction? It isn’t easy to be grateful for difficult situations, but look at what difficulties accomplish in our lives–endurance (strength!), proven character (a witness to others!), and my favorite word of all: hope. There is a purpose in suffering. Suffering lets us lean more heavily on our Maker and lets us draw on His strength. It deepens our relationship with Him. And it leads us to another of God’s wonderful gifts, HOPE. So if you’re facing a trial today, turn your face skyward and thank the Lord for giving you an opportunity to grow in Him.