A Means for Growth

THURSDAY, JANUARY 10, 2013

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.

When we experience suffering in our lives, we naturally want the pain to go away. But sometimes God can do things through our pain that cannot be accomplished in any other way. Alan Redpath said, “When God wants to do an impossible task, he takes an impossible individual and crushes him.”

James wrote, “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing” (James 1:2–4).

Sometimes the Lord will turn a disability into an ability. Sometimes He will take a weakness and turn it into a strength.

If you are trying to get stronger physically, you need to use your muscles. When you work out, you are essentially breaking your muscles down to build them back up again.

In the same way, God may allow hardship into our lives to make us stronger in our faith.

Here is what the apostle Paul said when he asked God to take away his thorn in the flesh, but God said no: “Each time He said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:9–10)

We always want things to go reasonably well. We don’t want to suffer. We don’t want hardship. But that hardship may be the best thing for us.

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Genesis 25-26; Psalm 6; Luke 10

Used by permission from Harvest Ministries with Greg Laurie, PO Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514.

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