God encourages us, as good soldiers of Jesus Christ, to endure hardness. (2Ti 2:3) He is calling us to voluntarily accept difficulty, obstacles and challenges which come our way, to count it all joy (Ja 1:2) and persist in hope, adapting, equipping and strengthening ourselves to make the best of our circumstances for His glory as well as we can. We can do this knowing God is sovereign over all, that He sees us, and has arranged our trials for our good. (Ro 8:28)
As a bit of perspective, consider this incredible man; his legs are mere twigs, capable of very little, yet he walks and runs with his arms, using his hands instead of his feet. He tends sheep, harvests crops, navigating forests and difficult terrain, apparently providing for himself and maintaining his own homestead under near-poverty conditions with little, if any assistance. He appears to have incredible ingenuity, discipline, persistence and endurance. (See video) He could complain, he could quit, and most of us wouldn’t blame him. But he doesn’t appear to be feeling sorry for himself.
When we’re tempted to say we can’t, thinking life is just too difficult, that our obstacles are too great … we should step back and get some perspective. This little man will, in all likelihood, stand up straight and tall on Judgment Day, and by his tenacity and industriousness put many to shame (Mt 12:41-42), those who faint in the day of adversity (Pr 24:10), who drop out of their race when it gets hard, who give up and quit when the going gets tough (1Co 16:13), who won’t faithfully make the best of their circumstances for the glory of God.
We may not think we have much to work with, we may think the odds are stacked against us, but we likely have much more capability and potential than we think. (Pr 13:23) God will not judge us based on our achievements in themselves, but on what we do with what He gives us. (Lk 12:48b) Don’t compare yourself with how others are today, but with who you were yesterday. Pursue continuous improvement in every aspect of your life.
If we’re always prioritizing our own comfort and ease we become enemies of the cross (Php 3:18); we won’t grow as we should in God without a struggle. (He 12:10-13) We’re called to prepare our minds for strenuous activity (1Pe 1:13), to diligently add to our faith (2Pe 1:5-7), to exercise and push ourselves. (1Ti 4:7)
The key is to start small, just take one more step, one day at a time. (Mt 6:34) We may need to take baby steps at first, and it may take a long while to train and discipline ourselves to endure hardness, to get to where we should be in this journey, taking up our cross and following after Him every day, to be worthy of Him (Mt 10:38), but it’s the way of God: His strength is made perfect in weakness. (2Co 12:9)