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God Makes Beautiful People Through Hardships

Many of the world’s greatest souls became their best selves not in spite of but because of their distress. The great hymn writer Cowper wrote hopeful hymns and the great artist Van Gogh brushed epic paintings while contemplating suicide. Charles Spurgeon preached some of his best sermons while depressed. Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, and Martin Luther King Jr. battled melancholy. The great composer Beethoven went deaf. C.S. Lewis buried his wife after a short, cancer-ridden marriage. Elie Wiesel and Corrie Ten Boom survived the holocaust. Joni Eareckson Tada lost her ability to walk in a tragic accident. John Perkins endured jail, beatings, and death threats from white supremacists.

As grief expert Elizabeth Kubler Ross famously noted, “The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known one defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation and sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep love and concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”

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