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“Perhaps the Incarnation of the God-Man occurred in such difficult circumstances in order to make clear that His salvation is not an escape from the grave problems posed by even the harshest realities of life. Instead of looking for distractions from our difficulties, let us entrust ourselves to Him as we cooperate with His gracious purposes for the healing of our souls and for the salvation of the world. Jesus Christ became a human person so that we might become nothing less than “partakers of the divine nature” by grace.” (Fr. Philip LeMasters)

“It’s said that, in this day and age, there’s a lot of mental and bodily pain. But it’s not only in our own times that we see illnesses, personal rivalries, stress and a mountain of difficulties which pressurize and crush people, wherever they live on earth. Of course, there’s no lessening of the intensity of our pain in knowing that other people are suffering as much as we are. If we want to see things that way, there might be some consolation and that helps us bear up. It’s something, at least. But the most important thing in helping us bear our pain and any trial which might befall us is the experience of the cross of Christ. Our own God was crucified, suffered and rejected by all. He understands us because he went through the same experiences.” (Pemptousia Partnership)

“… life is difficult and imperfect, and one is allowed to struggle to overcome one’s limitations. We will face failures in school, in work, in business, in relationships, and in other areas of our lives; however, these difficulties do not define our identities…As Jesus said, “I am the Vine and you are the branches.” As long as we are attached to the Vine, we always have life. A simple reminder of this is when St. John wrote in his letters, “In Him was the true light." If Jesus took upon human flesh, He must have experienced many of the struggles and questions each and every one of us face.” (Fr. George Shalhoub)

“…those who suffer grief, sickness, despondency, loneliness, affliction, persecution, and hardship know that the reasons for the sorrows of this life are beyond human understanding. Yet, they are not without the presence, support, and comfort of God so that they might endure whatever difficulties they face…instead of reasons for our trials, the God of love gives us consolation and strength to endure…When we endure unforeseen difficulties, we can have peace in entrusting ourselves and our whole life to Christ. It is the only thing that we can do, and it is a great blessing to have faith in the God of providence to do so.” (Fr. Basil)

“There are two primary obstacles to growth, freedom, and happiness that come from the victimhood mentality. First, as demonstrated by the young man who locked himself in his bedroom, embracing victimhood takes away our freedom of self-determination by giving control of our lives to some other person or external circumstance or event. The second primary danger of the victimhood mentality is that it ignores the reality that most of the greatest learning experiences of our lives come from our adversities. In many cases, we do not succeed in spite of our challenges and difficulties, but precisely because of them.” (Richard Paul Evans)

“Jesus used the image of carrying a cross to illustrate the ultimate submission required of his followers. He is not against pleasure, nor was he saying that we should seek pain needlessly. Jesus was talking about the heroic effort needed to follow him moment by moment, to do his will even when the work is difficult and the future looks bleak.” (Life Application Study Bible, Mark 8:34)

"The point at which difficulty enters our lives and our work is not incidental; it is central and significant for at least two reasons. First, it is here that we encounter our own need for God and grow in dependence on God." (Gordon T. Smith)

“God give us the gift of eternal life in Heaven with Him if we accept it. But to follow the path that leads to eternal life with Him is difficult. It means giving up our very selves and living for God by living for others. As ours is a very “me-centered” society, giving of self can be difficult for many people to do.” (Marianne C. Sailus)

“This same merciful God knows how difficult a struggle we have and has given us the strength we need to progress toward purity and holiness. He also rewards us based on our willingness to commit to the struggle—a struggle that is empowered by the grace that abounds when we call upon His Holy Name.” (Abbot Tryphon)

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