Romans 5:3 “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.”
Children are so cute when they’re babies. They’re so helpless and dependent. But as they get older, they learn certain skills. They learn to feed themselves and dress themselves. They learn to take care of themselves. They can’t be babies forever.
In the same way, we don’t want be baby Christians our entire lives. We want to grow up and mature.
I grabbed my J. B. Philips translation of the Bible off my shelf this week and read the book of James. I love the way he words some of the very familiar passages in this small book. For example:
James 1:2-4 “When all kinds of trials and temptations crowd into your lives my brothers, don’t resent them as intruders, but welcome them as friends! Realise that they come to test your faith and to produce in you the quality of endurance. But let the process go on until that endurance is fully developed, and you will find you have become men of mature character with the right sort of independence.”
God allows hardship and trials in our lives so that we’ll grow up spiritually.
A teacher, for instance, might say to the class, “I’m going to test you today. It’s a pop quiz. So, close your textbooks and take out a sheet of paper.” When I was in school, I was never excited when the teacher announced a pop quiz because I wasn’t prepared. I hadn’t learned the material.
God may bring pop quizzes into our lives as well. He tests us to see if we have learned the material. We are so quick to tell others how to live. We are so quick to tell others to have faith and to pray about things. But often when trials and hardships come into our lives, we panic.
So, God sometimes allows us to go through tests to make sure we really know what we say we know. He tests us to see if we’ve really embraced His truth. It’s never to embarrass us in front of the class or judge us, it is always to grow us, mature us and transform us more into the image of His Son.
Don’t resist those times, you will look back on them as vital intersections in your faith journey.