You know...going through hardships often can bring an attitude of -- "Lord, please help me...give me strength so I can go on."
I've realized recently that that isn't what He expects at all! I am learning to say -- "Lord, please live Your life through me. You are my strength." What a difference!
He does not lift me up and empower me to stand. I lift Him up with my praise and with Him living His life through me He accomplishes the tasks set before me. And consequently He receives the glory. This is where the "lose your life...and you will find it" comes in. (Matt.16:25) We are supposed to lose our life for His sake. At salvation I exchanged my life for His life. Does this mean that I lose my rights to myself? Absolutely. Does that mean when trials come they are allowed by Him...to affect my life? Yes.
Any good, any blessing, is an added benefit He gives in His loving kindness.
We are ether living our life...or His. And as a Christian that isn't even true. We are either allowing Him to live His life, or, we are living His life the way we want to run it No man can serve two masters. (Matt 6:24) We live for us, or for Him. It's impossible to serve both. Just as we are stewards of the earth, the animals, "our" money, etc. we are only stewards of "our" life. He should be our master.
We may think it's easy to want to be like Christ -- to take on His life. Sometimes we go into this exchanged life thinking that the putting on of Christ will mean we get to exchange our evil character traits for His good traits (Love, grace...even power, etc.) But we forget that with His life also came crucifixion. He doesn't need us to keep our good and add Himself to our life. Even our good is as filthy rags. We exchange lives. And what an exchange! Of course trials and crosses come. But what did we expect? It's a Christ life. Of course we have crosses.
( "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that when his glory shall be revealed ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. "1 Peter 4:12-13).
But we can take comfort -- with Christ all things are possible! (Philippians 4:13)
Are the lost exempt from trials? Hardly. But with Christ we Christians are promised that our trials will work together for good (Romans 8:28) and that He will be our hedge to make sure that nothing more than we can bear will touch us. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
Suddenly crosses are seen in a while new light. They are a "cost" of being His. (Luke 14:28-30). I've counted the cost and -- I'm convinced He is worth every cost. I am not responsible for the outcome of His life. My perfect, infinite, omniscient God is responsible for "my" life....because it's His.
With His life I am promised eternity with Him. With His life I am given a comforter forever. With His life I am given a purpose, true love for others...real peace. Let the crosses come. He can bear them. I'm thankful for His life.