In education it’s called a productive struggle. We supply students with everything they need to solve a problem then we give them a problem to solve slightly outside their pay grade. It requires that they synthesize information, understand concepts more deeply, attempt, fail and then try again. It often requires collaboration, always demands endurance, and determination. Students don’t like it, especially when they ask a question and it is answered with a question. Some give up and wait to be rescued. Others persevere until they find an answer. And when they do, they become stronger, more confident, successful math students; students who can face any problem given to them; students who can help others.
Brothers and sisters, in this Christian walk, you are going to experience a PRODUCTIVE STRUGGLE. You are going to experience trials, tribulations, hardships and pains. You will face problems that challenge your understanding of the scripture and require that you go deeper. You will try, fail, and try again. You will ask questions and it may seem God is answering with more questions than answers or that He is silent. You will sometimes want to give up and wait for someone to come along and give you a formula to fix all your woes. But remember, you have everything you need to solve this problem.
Paul encourages us as we face our productive struggle: Rejoice because God is producing in us patient endurance. Endurance will build our character. And this built up character will give us hope and confidence as we face many more problems. This hope and confidence will not disappoint because we will have the strength and fortitude not just to face our future struggles but also to help others face theirs.
Are you in a struggle? Make it a productive struggle. Learn, persevere, endure, trust, collaborate. Don’t be afraid to erase and start again. Allow the struggle to produce a strong, confident warrior. The enemy may have given you the struggle to break you, but God will use it to refine you, to make you into the warrior He has called you to be! Enjoy your productive struggle!
“And not only this, but [with joy] let us exult in our sufferings and rejoice in our hardships, knowing that hardship (distress, pressure, trouble) produces patient endurance; and endurance, proven character (spiritual maturity); and proven character, hope and confident assurance [of eternal salvation]. Such hope [in God’s promises] never disappoints us, because God’s love has been abundantly poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
ROMANS 5:3-5 AMP