Our response to changed circumstances reveals a great deal about what we value the most. This is especially so when our material comforts are taken away. We may then find that we have been resting on them, finding in them our security in this world. Of course, this is not restricted to material things. We can find ourselves resting and relying on our position, or our reputation.
At these times adversity is like a litmus test. We find out where our security really lies. But some things cannot be shaken. Some things cannot be taken away. Do we really value them as much as we ought to?
The only true source of our happiness is in the knowledge that God loves us and that we are his children. Without this knowledge, all the prosperity in the world is of no value to us.John Calvin's Sermons on Galatians, p. 17, 18-19
God may afflict us with many sorrows, and at such times we need to value his grace above everything else; it should content us, even if everything else were taken away. As we have already said, if we live in comfort, surrounded by all kinds of pleasures and delights, we will still be miserable if we do not have the peace of conscience which comes from knowing that God loves and accepts us.