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For the week of March 20, 2023 Growing Stronger through the Pain

Most people go through life trying to avoid pain and suffering. This aversion to trials and tribulations is a natural response for the person living in the physical realm. However, God’s agenda for born-again believers living in the spiritual realm is to use adversity to mature them and increase their faith in Him. Having this supernatural mindset toward the bad things that inevitably show up in our lives helps us make sense of it all.

When trouble comes our way, we’re to consider it an opportunity for great joy, because the testing of our faith gives our endurance a chance to grow. As our endurance progresses to the point of being fully developed, we get closer and closer to being perfected. Adversity is never pleasant when we’re going through it, but just as children need challenges in the physical realm to help them grow and become stronger, the same is true of God’s children. We start off as the same “newborn babies” who need the spiritual milk of the Word to grow them.

There will always be things that we can’t handle on our own. This is our opportunity to set aside self-reliance and fully rely on God instead of ourselves to bring us through it. God loves us and gives us plenty of such opportunities; this is how we grow and move away from spiritual immaturity.

We mustn’t be surprised at the fiery trials we go through, as if something strange was happening to us. Considering God’s eternal perspective reveals that suffering is only temporary. In His overwhelming favor toward us, He brings us through it. Then after we’ve suffered awhile, the God of all grace, who has called us to His eternal glory through Christ Jesus, will perfect, establish, and strengthen us.

Prayer:

Lord, as Your children, we’re bound to go through trials and suffering. However, we don’t shrink back from tribulation, because You use it to mature us and teach us to depend completely on You to deliver us from it. Thank You for Your loving kindness. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Scriptures:

James 1:2-4,

NLT 1 Peter 2:2,

NIV 1 Peter 4:12,

NLT 1 Peter 5:10
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