It can be surprising when hardships become a blessing. This concept is hard to fathom when you are in a difficult situation. A friend had a baby born with many physical handicaps that lived less than one year. Although this child’s life was short, she was loved, cared for, and impacted many people. She was a blessing. The family drew closer to the Lord and each other during this time. In addition, the hospital made a video about them and their daughter to help others in a similar situation.
James 1:2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. In God’s mercy, He molds and shapes us through the trials of life that refine our faith and transform us.
Simon Carried the Cross for Jesus
As Jesus carried his cross to Golgotha, His strength weakened, and He could no longer carry such a weight. The Roman soldiers quickly grabbed Simon of Cyrene to pick up the cross of Jesus. Simon may have thought, “Why did they have to pick on me to carry this man’s cross?” The Bible does not give any insight into Simon’s reactions. If I had been Simon, this is what I would have been saying to myself.
Carrying the cross of Jesus probably seemed like a hardship, but later this would turn out to be a great blessing in his life. Only one person in the history of the world received the gift of carrying the cross of Jesus, and that was Simon. Scholars think Simon’s son Rufus is the same Rufus that Paul talks about in Romans 16:13. He is working in the early Christian Church. If Rufus was indeed the son of Simon of Cyrene, the impact of carrying the cross of Jesus profoundly affected him spiritually.
Blessings from God are Sometimes Disguised
Some of the greatest blessings I have received did not seem that way when I received them. You may have experienced a similar gift. How did this disguised blessing change you? Sometimes, the Lord uses trials to redirect us, get our attention, and refine us. The Lord may use challenging times in our lives to help us to rely more on Him. An illness can help us develop greater empathy for others that have health issuers. The Lord can teach, transform, and mold us to be more like Him as He walks with us during the trials of life.
1 Peter 4:12 Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. 13 Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world. 
To learn more about when hardships become a blessing, listen here: