|Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. –James 1:2-3
“Life’s burdens are designed not to break us, but to bend us towards God.” I read this quote on a website this morning, and it immediately reminded me of the verse above.
Throughout scripture, we read that whenever Satan asked for permission to attack any of God’s servants, God always gave him boundaries that he was not permitted to cross. When Satan asked to attack Job, the Lord said to him in Job 1:12, “Very well then, everything he has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” You see dear friends; we do not have a Father that just unleashes senseless trials on us that are designed to destroy us. Instead we have a loving and wise Father that knows us and desires to see us reach our full potential in Him.
When I was a member of the track and field team in college, I remember being scared to compete in any events that I did not think I was good at. I participated in a lot of the field events, and I ran the 100 and 200 meter races. While at a competition, one of my teammates fell ill and was unable to participate in any of her races, so the coach assigned her races to others on the team. He assigned the 400m race to me. I had never competed in the 400s and I was not even prepared to run on that particular day. I told him that I did not feel comfortable doing it, and he looked me straight in the eyes and said, “Well, this is your perfect opportunity to get comfortable with it…you just might surprise yourself.” I warmed up on the side lines, and when it was time for the race, I lined up with my opponents on the starting line, the gun went off, and we all took off running. I told myself that I would not be upset if I came last. As I went past the 200m line, I heard my coach scream, “This is just another 200m race. Win it! I know you can!” On hearing that, I ran like I never did before, and somehow, I went from 7th place to 2nd. The 400m soon became one of my favourite races! Never in a million years would I have imagined it, but my coach knew, and so he put me in a situation that would let me know as well.
Like my coach, we have a coach in Jesus Christ that cheers us on and reminds us that we can do it, even when we do not feel like we can get through a trial. We have been assured that the Lord would never put more on us than we can bear in His strength, so we ought to remember this whenever we face any trials. We ought to remember that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. We ought to remember to reach out to Him and cling to Him through the pain we might feel. Trials are not designed to destroy us. Instead, they push us to our limits so that we develop tenacity, perseverance, and growth in our lives. Trials have a way of revealing to us things about ourselves that we never realized.
So dear friends, whenever you face trials of any kind, I challenge you to remember that God only allowed it because He already equipped you to handle it. You may not realize it, but you need to trust Him! He longs to see you grow and reach your full potential in life, so find joy in your trials. Although they will not be enjoyable or necessarily comfortable, know that the Lord can work them out for good to you. Listen to your coach’s voice as He screams out to you, “Endure! I know you can do it!”
Grace and peace be with you.
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