Spiritual Strength Training
By Jolee Paden
"Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us." - Romans 5:3-5
Each day in the weight room, you have the goal to get stronger. The goal is not necessarily for the lifting to get easier, because when it starts to get easier... you are supposed to add more weight. If you didn't want to get stronger, you would stay at the same levels and expect the same results week after week. We grow as competitors when we challenge ourselves day by day.
The purpose of walking with Jesus is not for life to get easier over time, but for our faith to be strengthened. In fact, our circumstances will probably get more difficult over time. While the trial may be hard, we have the strength of past provision to build towards our future hope. Journeying with Jesus guarantees us the power of His Spirit to persevere through the trial.
Suffering is the pathway to glory. We build our capacity to share in God's glory as we also share in His suffering. A burden that could have once been unbearable is now a heavy, but manageable weight in our spiritual strength training regiment. Sometimes we are resistant to the training, because of past failure, fear or apathy. We have to remind ourselves that God is trustworthy. He always gives us what we need as we press into His heart for us. We don't have to fear the trials ahead, because Christ is strength in our weakness.
- How is God's past provision strengthening you for your current circumstances?
- What are barriers in growing in relationship with the Lord?
- How can you press into what God is teaching you today?
1 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Corinthians 12:8-10; Romans 8:28; 2 Timothy 1:7
Lord, I admit that I would often prefer the easy way out with no struggle or suffering. I recognize that on the cross, you did not take the easy way out. With your heart fixed on the love of your people, you sacrificed your life. You suffered for us to create a restored path to the Father's heart. I surrender to the ways you are working out your glory in my life. I trust you in the midst of the suffering, and declare that you are trustworthy.