Maulana Wahiduddin Khan | The Sunday Guardian | October 16, 2016, p. 12
The Prophet Muhammad once said: “Indeed greater reward comes with greater trial. And indeed, when God loves a people He subjects them to trials, so whoever is content, then for him is pleasure, and whoever is discontent, then for him is discontentment” (Sunan at-Tirmidhi).
From this we learn that trials are a means for our spiritual development. We face different types of shocks. Tests and trials of life cause a shake-up in our minds and our hidden potentials are awakened.
While undergoing these unpleasant experiences, if a person wallows in negative emotions, if he allows himself to fall prey to anger, if he starts living in frustration and complaint, he will fail in the test. He will not gain anything positive from his tests. But in contrast, if he is intellectually awakened, he will be able to maintain his balance when faced with a test. Despite unfavourable experiences he will preserve his positive thinking. He will be able to extract goodness from the trials he goes through.
Trials always appear to come to us in the form of some or the other problem. People who panic when faced with a problem will not get anything from trying situations other than complaint and despair. But those who regard trials as part of God’s Plan welcome it with a positive mindset. It is these people for whom trials of life works as a means for increasing their reward.
With God, there is no lack of reward. But one gets a great reward from God only when one develops a great deservingness for it. And there is just one means for making oneself deserving of great reward—and that is that one must, in every condition, remain steadfastly positive in one’s thinking. Your positive thinking must remain firmly in place, and no happening should cause you to waver.