Getting in Shape

Ready “You rejoice in this, though now for a short time you have had to struggle in various trials so that the genuineness of your faith —more valuable than gold, which perishes though refined by fire — may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” - 1 Peter 1:6-7
Set As spring has brought warmer temperatures to the Midwest, many people, including myself, are trying to get fit, lose weight and get in shape. As I get my road work in, I cannot help but think of years ago when, as a basketball player, I went through the personal torture of pre-season conditioning. I used to hate it. All that running before basketball season seemed senseless. After my freshman year, I tried to come to camp already in shape, but no matter how hard I tried, I would always get physically ill from the running at least once or twice a year. I could never prepare myself the same way coach would prepare me. Coach would run us to get rid of the impurities in our bodies. He wanted to develop our lung capacity for endurance. We needed to be purified so we could be “game ready.” As believers, Christ also will purify us through trials. And just as I didn’t much enjoy the running my coach put me through, I can’t say I was ever excited about the trials Christ gave me. But I have come to accept this as part of the process and realize that these are good things. I realize now that I have to be in good condition so that I will be able to battle through the entire game and still be ready at the end. If I am in better shape than my opponent, then I will be able to endure and at the end of the game have the confidence that I can perform at a high level. Because we know He will always walk with us, we can be confident in Christ. We can endure and serve because of the hope we have in Him and because of the salvation He brought to us through the cross. Because we can trust Him, we can also gain confidence through the trials He brings us—confidence based on Christ at work in us. God wants us to develop and grow our faith. He says it is more precious than gold. Today, look at your life as pre-season conditioning. Christ is getting us in shape for eternity.
Go 1. How do you get in spiritual shape? 2. How do you respond to trials? With confidence? 3. Can you identify some of the areas you need to trim up to be game ready?
Workout 2 Timothy 4:1-8
Bible Reference: 
1 Peter 1