There have been some things going on in my life that have been tough. I know that God means them for my good, but sometimes it is hard to see how. Still, we trust that He does. I have learned a few essential lessons in the past month or so. They are things that I would have certainly agreed to, in the past, but I would have lacked experiential knowledge of them -at least in degree. I'm sure, as life goes on, I will learn these again and again in higher and higher degrees.
1. I must always seek to obey God and trust Him for the results. I cannot do what I should to try and control the responses of others, because... I can't control the responses of others. God must be my audience, alone, and I must seek to obey Him even when a) I don't want to, b) it is painful, c) times are dark and it seems the enemy is all around me, and with all of these, I must trust Him in it. I must trust Him to help me and keep me following Him, following after His ways, and I must trust Him for whatever the results are. Trust Him. Obey and trust.
2. Jesus must be my main joy, hope, and stay. It cannot be others. It cannot be their responses to me. It cannot be their relative obedience or rebellion in the responsibilities God has given them, especially those which overlap in my sphere of life. It cannot be the spiritual state of others. It cannot be my relationship to them. Those will all sometimes be favorable, sometimes not be so favorable. In the end, as good as things can be, these things are still temporary, prone to disappoint, and covered with imperfections. The soul that hangs on them will sooner or later be desponded and miserable. They are not foundations of joy, hope, constancy,or security. None of them. This world really has nothing to offer like that. There is only discouragement or half-heartedness.
I've also learned that both of these things must go together.