Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.
James 1:2-7 NIV
Last night at Bible Study so many of my friends had so many burdens. My heart was very heavy for them. I spent a fitful night of concern for them. Perhaps it is because I have been there, in great pain and need. I know the feeling of struggle. I also know that I would not trade my struggles for all the money in the world. They have made me who I am, what I am. The season of pain and heartache may seem long, but oh, it is so beautiful on the other side. To have a heart that has been refined by the fire, to NEVER be the same again. No, I would not trade that for anything.
Don't misunderstand me. I am sinful and my heart is not pure or perfect, but it is softer than when my journey began. My faith is stronger than it used to be.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: "My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son." Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. "Make level paths for your feet," so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.
Hebrews 12:1-12 NIV
No, trials are not easy. They are not meant to be. My giants haven't always been laundry and dishes. There used to be a saying in strength training, "No pain, no gain." Well without pain our souls cannot gain either. It is not for "no reason" Jesus is called the perfecter of our faith.
I have learned this though, the sooner you recognize the trial and the sooner you put yourself on your face before God, the sooner He comes along side of you and helps you in the trial. Notice I did not say the sooner He removes the trial, which sometimes He does, I said the sooner He helps you in the trial.
Who would you rather have helping you? God? Or yourself?
I do NOT have all the answers, but I serve a God who does.
Hebrews 12:11 says, No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
It produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. This is so true.