I realize every department store has to mark up its products to make a profit, but sometimes the markup is counterproductive and results in sticker shock. One store in particular has prices so outrageous that I call it “Needless Markup.” It’s not exactly the best place for shoppers with thin wallets and faint hearts.

I had a brief case of sticker shock when I visited an Egyptian rug factory and saw a rug for $3,000. What’s worse, it was ugly. I took one look and said, “Why would anyone want to pay $3,000 for that?” The problem was, I saw the rug from the wrong side. When I saw the other side, I marveled, “Wow! They are only charging $3,000 for that?” It was a beauty, alright.

Now I didn’t buy the expensive rug, but it provided a great illustration of the importance of a right perspective in our trials. Sometimes when we go through difficulties, we can only see them from the side of the immediate pain and discomfort they cause us. But only when we learn to see them from the side of eternity can we see their true beauty. We will see how the frequent trials of our faith were the crucibles which produced patience and holiness in our lives. This perspective teaches us why we could have no spiritual strength without our trials.

How do you want to view the hardships in your life? Maybe you have made some bad decisions and are paying the consequences. You can cringe and chafe at the heat, or you can rejoice in the pure gold the heat is producing. I choose the latter. If you want to see your situation right-side-up, learn to see it in light of eternity today.

To learn strong faith is to endure great trials. — George Müller

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.