We can fail to respond to them as we should and find ourselves in one of those "dark night of the soul" episodes.
"When life gets tough, the tough get going," they say. But that often sounds too man-centered, too self-driven.
Truth is, our strength lies outside of ourselves. And before we truly learn this, God makes us feel our weakness.
And why is it His custom to give us a hard passage through this world?
The biblical answer is: for His own glory! But more than that: so that when hard pressed and at the limit of our own resources, we may learn to utterly depend on His grace and the limitless resources of his saving power.
"We have this treasure (yes, treasure!) in earthen vessels," Paul wrote, "that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us" (2 Cor. 4:7).
Living like that, we may find ourselves saying, with George Whitefield, "Let the name of Whitefield perish, so long as God is glorified."