Though the arrogant have smeared me with lies, I keep your precepts with all my heart.Their hearts are callous and unfeeling, but I delight in your law.In Ephesians 4, Paul describes the difference between the people who are calloused and unfeeling in the face of affliction vs. those who delight in the midst of troubles.
Pay attention to the connecting and transitioning words in his description of the calloused people.
So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed. (Ephesians 4:17-19)
If you follow the trail of those underlined words, Paul lays out a progression from A to Z. He describes people whose entire focus in life is on gratifying the desires of their five senses. They've trained their hearts to constantly be on the hunt for new kinds of impurity and new ways to satisfy their greed, doing their best to avoid negative experiences. With their hearts hardened in that pursuit, they become ignorant of what God is really trying to do in their lives. Because of ignorance, they're darkened in their understanding and also separated from the life of God, two things that go hand in hand.
It's all too easy to think, oh sure, I know people like that. Most of us, though, have toyed with pursuing desires to the point of dancing awfully close to the edge of that cliff.
Afflictions and troubles and disasters are a natural result when people pursue their passions over the precipice. To compound the problem, those trivial pursuits have ill prepared them to learn from the hard times. Instead, they respond with more poor choices.
It's going to be difficult for anyone trapped in that downward spiral to see the good in the mess they're in. They don't have the habits or the resources to recognize God's hand at work.
A new perspective only comes through a complete reversal of that lifestyle chain described by Paul. He lays out the return route in a step by step fashion.
That, however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:20-24)
The way out must begin with Christ. Sure, there are other philosophies that can help people deal with life in a constructive way, but only Christ provides the resources and power and purpose for true transformation. Life in Christ means learning about Christ, learning Christ's plan for put off and put on, and Christ's power to renew your mind and make you into a new person with a new purpose.
Becoming like God and pursuing His righteousness and holiness is the only way to move beyond making lemons out of lemonade toward intentionally turning a desire-centered life into a God-centered life.