Without difficulty and even suffering there is no growth. None of us are immune from tough times. All of us want answers to try to make sense of what is happening and the situation we find ourselves in. We seek understanding and purpose. The word of God has an answer. The Apostle’s Peter and Paul breaks it down. Check it out.
1 Peter 4:12-13
12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice in as much as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.
1 CORINTHIANS 10:13
13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
II CORINTHIANS 12: 9-10
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast, all the more gladly, about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Purpose in pain test and trial. Peter explains they are not strange events that randomly creep upon us. It is not strange at all. Paul helps us to see that God is faithful to insure you are not overtaken and in addition to that his Grace which is his ability will help you work through whatever it is and to come out on top. Let’s look further into this.
The purpose at the end of it all is spiritual growth. The same way we put our muscles through pain to get that toned physique that we are after is exactly what happens when we experience tough times. Yes, it’s hurtful and yes, it’s painful but we set our joy and sight on the outcome. Here’s exactly what we are to do when tough times come our way.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Approach the throne of God through prayer
Christ is touched by and has compassion for us when we experience challenges and tough times. He is not oblivious or mentally and emotionally checked out.
15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
When my Father was teaching me how to swim, he threw me in the water, but he did not stand on the side of the pool to watch me drown. He jumped right in there with me speaking to me and telling me exactly what to do and sure enough I eventually learned how to swim. If he had never facilitated the process and coached me through my fear I would have never grown in that space of swimming. Now I have confidence to jump in the water and swim.
Tough times are growth opportunities to exercise our faith and grow spiritually. Through the exercising of our faith we mature and become strong soldiers and partners for him in the kingdom. Therefore, we should not see these opportunities as setbacks. View them as training ground for us to utilize Gods truths and promises to grow in faith and in the intimate knowledge of Christ.
Exercise your faith and grow.
When you find yourself in a challenging situation look to and draw on God’s Grace through prayer listening to his voice to assist you. However, do not stop there. Put your faith in action. Exercise your faith. How do you do that? Here is how.
Look up scriptures that cover your situation.
Meditate on them read them daily. Embrace those scripture promises as your own. God’s promises specifically to you. Faith will begin to grow in your heart. Then speak those promises out of your mouth, boldly proclaim them over the situation. Then thank God for the answer to your predicament.
Every time a thought about the situation comes to your mind speak that promise again and again every time. Watch God move on your behalf. I call this the resistance process. Keep up the resistance process so that you can increase and grow into the image and likeness of Christ and become strong.
Every time the pressure of resistance comes upon you from the messenger of Satan or situation do not give in. Instead, hold your ground, press, and push back speaking the word of God in faith, utilizing the weapons given to you from Christ. Through your continual actions of pushing and pressing your faith will increase, and you will grow and be strengthened just as a weightlifter or a boxer.