The Gym is Open

I grew up in church. Baptized at four. But Church for me was a religion. I had no idea the word of God could transform.

In my late twenties, I remember starting to hear God’s voice. One of the first scriptures, I remember penetrating my heart was:

“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭5:3-5‬ ‭NLT‬

I had no idea God was preparing me to face the most difficult time in my life.

Rejoice in trials? Not this girl. Demand my way. Annihilate you with my tongue. Throw a temper tantrum. Blame God. That was mt preferred way to handle a trial.

I had no idea how God was about to utterly change my life.

I went in that trial a carnal, selfish, hot-tempered girl. I came out after several years a strong, faith-filled, hearing God, scripture-believing Warrior.

That is the purpose of the trial. Trials are spiritual gyms, designed to build our faith muscles, produce perseverance, and reshape us into His image.

I don’t believe God sends the trial. I believe trials are the result of living in a fallen world and the existence of a very real adversary. But God is uber redemptive. He uses the trial. That is why Paul, Peter, and James all exhort us to rejoice in trials. The trial is not is not the headline. God’s redemptive work within us is the Breaking Story.

Trails will come. The NLT translation says, “Trials MUST come.” I Peter 1:6. But we get to choose.

Will we allow the trial to purify us or destroy us?
Will we cultivate joy or bitterness during the trial?
Will we emerge Warriors or Victims from the trial?

We don’t rejoice FOR the trial but we rejoice IN the trial knowing
1. It’s temporary.
2. It’s refining us.
3. We get to experience God in a fresh way.
4. It’s often preparation for our next assignment.
5. We are coming out on the other side stronger, more fierce, a warrior.

Don’t waste your trial!

“So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while.”
‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭1:6‬ ‭NLT‬‬