All of us have encountered problems in our past and all of us have problems currently. It is our choice as to how we respond. Some people allow their obstacles to swallow them up. They complain (which is the equivalent of giving praise to the devil) or use their past or present circumstance as an excuse to refuse to move forward.
No one us can make the decision for us to move forward. It's all on us to do that. The other day I encountered someone who is blaming their ancestors for their alcohol problems. The truth is, their ancestors have nothing to do with their current alcohol problem. They have a choice when they wake up everyday to move forward but it is easier to say, "My great grandfather started all this, and my grandfather took up where he left off, and then my Dad and here I am..." It's so much easier to shift all the blame to these other three men rather than for this individual to simply say, "I HAVE A PROBLEM AND IT IS UP TO ME TO ACT ON A DECISION TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT."
What about things that happen that we have no control over? Well, we can still control ourselves,and that is where the biggest battle lies. I do know that the greatest testimonies I have in my own life are because of things like this. I've even started to say, "Wow, thanks! That will make a great sermon illustration!" when something crazy happens that I can't control that is hurtful. I literally giggle inside thinking about how I'm going to get revenge on the enemy (satan) by turning that circumstance around -- responding to it properly and then sharing it with others one on one and in messages, and seeing their lives changed in a positive way for the glory of God.
When difficulties come it's critical for those whose goal is to be mature in Christ to:
1) Stop and think before you respond.
2) Refuse to blame your past and circumstances when you choose to respond poorly.
3) Not only make a decision to respond rightly, but act on it.
4) Thank God in advance for how He is going to use your testimony.
5) Dream of all the ways your testimony can be used for His glory...think creatively...get the word out about what God has done in your life, past and present!