As a child I was never taught to “put on a happy face,” “look on the bright side,” or expect a ‘silver lining” for every cloud. I heard those expressions but never from my parents.
That doesn’t mean I was raised by brooding or pessimistic people. In fact, it was just the opposite. My parents looked for and expected good things.
Instead of being taught to grin and bear it, I was taught according to Scripture. On the darkest night of my young life, my mother quoted Paul’s Letter to the Romans: “We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
She knew the truth that Paul’s imprisonment had “really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole praetorian guard and to all the rest” that Paul’s imprisonment was for Christ (Philippians 1:12-13). She also knew that Paul’s “slight momentary afflictions” as he called them had been used of God to strengthen and encourage other believers (Philippians 1:14).
By example and by Scripture, I saw how you handle difficulty and pain.
I was taught that God is good and He is in charge. I was taught that when we don’t know or can’t see God is active and working on our behalf.
Good theology helps us in our troubles. My parents never questioned God. That doesn’t mean that honest questions are bad. If they questioned God, it wasn’t around me.
I was taught we have an all powerful God who is good and active in His world, that we can go to Him in times of trouble and that He sees our needs and cares for us. My church and my parents taught me to pray in all things and look to God for protection.
Like most Christians, my mother loved Romans 8: “If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, will he not also give us all things with him? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect ? . . . . It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us? Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? . . . . No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8: 31-37).