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Bahá'í Words of Comfort in Times of Trouble
The Bahá'í Faith is concerned with the spiritual development of mankind. The rewards of this life are the virtues and perfections which adorn the reality of man, but they must be developed as a result of personal volition. As in any course of study or practice, there will be tests by which to ascertain the level of success. Bahá'u'lláh, its Prophet/Founder, makes it clear that one should not only expect, but also learn from any tests and difficulties that this life throws our way.
Shoghi Effendi, the great grandson of Bahá'u'lláh, writes, "...suffering, although an inescapable reality, can nevertheless be utilized as a means for the attainment of happiness...Suffering is both a reminder and a guide. It stimulates us better to adapt ourselves to our environmental conditions, and thus leads the way to self improvement. In every suffering one can find a meaning and a wisdom. But it is not always easy to find the secret of that wisdom." He adds, however, that, "We must not only be patient with others--infinitely patient!--but also with our own poor selves, remembering that even the Prophets of God sometimes got tired and cried out in despair!" - Lights of Guidance, p. 280
'Abdu'l-Bahá, the Son of Bahá'u'lláh and His appointed Interpreter, said, "Today, humanity is bowed down with trouble, sorrow and grief, no one escapes; the world is wet with tears; but, thank God, the remedy is at our doors... If we are hemmed in by difficulties we have only to call upon God, and by His great Mercy we shall be helped.
"If sorrow and adversity visit us, let us turn our faces to the Kingdom and heavenly consolation will be outpoured. If we are sick and in distress let us implore God's healing, and He will answer our prayer.
"When our thoughts are filled with the bitterness of this world, let us turn our eyes to the sweetness of God's compassion and He will send us heavenly calm! If we are imprisoned in the material world, our spirit can soar into the Heavens and we shall be free indeed!
"...You see all round you proofs of the inadequacy of material things--how joy, comfort, peace and consolation are not to be found in the transitory things of the world. Is it not then foolishness to refuse to seek these treasures where they may be found? The doors of the spiritual Kingdom are open to all, and without is absolute darkness." - Paris Talks, p. 110
All of which I generally forget the minute life throws me a curve! However, years of experience (I'm a slow learner) have taught me to use the tools of prayer and meditation early on. Learning to call upon friends in this plane of existence helps, too, but asking for divine assistance comes first.
I find this prayer by 'Abdu'l-Bahá to be very useful. It not only asks for help directly, but also gives a list of affirmations to remember and recite in moments of stress:
"O God! Refresh and gladden my spirit. Purify my heart. Illumine my powers. I lay all my affairs in Thy hand. Thou are my Guide and my Refuge. I will no longer be sorrowful and grieved; I will be a happy and joyful being. O God! I will no longer be full of anxiety, nor will I let trouble harass me. I will not dwell on the unpleasant things of life. O God! Thou art more friend to me than I am to myself. I dedicate myself to Thee, O Lord." - Bahá'í Prayers, p. 151
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