I think that when we have difficult times, or see others going through hardship, it is easy to demand of God, "Why?!" and to rebel against what is happening. We ask Him for blessings, and we praise Him for the gifts He gives us-as long as they are happy, bright ones.
What would change if we lived the knowledge that everything we have is a gift? And I mean Everything. Even the lost chances, the impossibles, the weariness, the going on and on without an end in sight...
I tend to forget that my very existence is a gift. I, a tiny speck of dust in the Hand of God, do not deserve to have ever lived, much less experienced the countless beauties this life has already held. When I feel that my life is bleak and empty, I must choose to remember that even that bleakness is a gift! Even the tears are treasures.
"...But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.
Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal."
-from 2 Corinthians 4