Challenges bring opportunities in life

Flora Teckie

Flora Teckie

Published Jun 25, 2024


Flora Teckie

Life has many challenges. But life also offers many opportunities, and at times it is through challenges that we find new opportunities and can improve and grow our capacities.

Life provides us, for example, with the opportunity for our advancement and growth, for service to the common good, and for working for the betterment of our communities.

According to the Bahá’í Writings: “We must always look ahead and seek to accomplish in the future what we may have failed to do in the past. Failures, tests, and trials, if we use them correctly, can become the means of purifying our spirit, strengthening our characters, and enable us to rise to greater heights of service.”

Our development and growth process usually requires moral and spiritual choices, often involving challenges, which represent opportunities for spiritual growth. If we pass our tests and trials in life with courage and fortitude, we grow stronger spiritually.

The Bahá’í Writings state: “The mind and spirit of man advance when he is tried by suffering. The more the ground is ploughed, the better the seed will grow, the better the harvest will be. Just as the plough furrows the earth deeply, purifying it of weeds and thistles, so suffering and tribulation free man from petty affairs of this worldly life until he arrives at a state of complete detachment.

“His attitude in this world will be that of divine happiness. Man is, so to speak, unripe: The heat of the fire of suffering will mature him. Look back to the times of the past, and you will find the greatest men have suffered most.”

Our souls can be strengthened, and we can overcome challenges and obstacles in life more easily, through sincere and regular prayers. Prayer also causes spiritual joy and brings us closer to God.

According to the Bahá’í Writings, prayer “creates spirituality, creates mindfulness and celestial feelings, begets new attractions of the Kingdom and engenders the susceptibilities of the higher intelligence” and “supplication to God at morn and eve is conducive to the joy of hearts, and prayer causes spirituality and fragrance”.

The Bahá’í Writings encourage us to be both deeply spiritual and highly practical. While we are encouraged to pray daily, at the same time we are to be engaged with the world at large. Service to humanity, for example, is viewed among the highest priorities in one’s life. Serving others, whether within our families or in our communities – through promoting the well-being of others – will also help us develop our own selves and is a source of spiritual joy and upliftment.

Developing our spiritual qualities – such as love and unity, trustworthiness, kindness, caring for one another, contentment, serving others, and a positive attitude – are important elements in overcoming our physical and emotional anxieties, and the life’s challenges.

We all go through tests, trials and many challenges in life. But can one remain content and be happy despite challenges?

The Bahá’í Writings state: “... the trials which beset our every step, all our sorrow, pain, shame and grief, are born in the world of matter; whereas the spiritual Kingdom never causes sadness. A man living with his thoughts in this Kingdom knows perpetual joy. The ills all flesh is heir to do not pass him by, but they only touch the surface of his life, the depths are calm and serene.... If material anxiety envelops you in a dark cloud, spiritual radiance lightens your path. Verily, those whose minds are illumined by the Spirit of the Most High have supreme consolation.”

Teckie is a professional architect, a Bahá’í Faith follower, and spiritual columnist

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