“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” –James 1:2-3 (NIV)
Military training is notorious for its discipline and toughness. Training montages from movies depicting army life provide a glimpse into the ordeals that civilian recruits have to undergo in order to become soldiers. The harsh endurance tests, the hazardous live-fire exercises, and the arduous treks through rugged terrain carrying packs weighted by equipment and supplies, are enough to scare away civilians from joining the military and understandably so. But all these things are meant to prepare soldiers for the realities of the battlefield. The strength and experience gained from training will not only help the solider to survive on the frontlines, but make him capable of defending his country. Thus, gruelling as training might be, the soldier endures it in the knowledge that doing so makes him stronger.
How often do we complain about our circumstances? Too often we look at our pain and misery and descend into despair. We allow ourselves to become slaves to our situations and become weak under the weight of hopelessness. However, we fail to realize that our trials are opportunities to build up our strength and faith in God. When we have allowed Christ to enter our hearts and have allowed Him to guide our steps, we will understand that our challenges will never be able to overtake us. Through Christ who has overcome all things, we are able to claim that same victory knowing that He is able to use our sufferings for His glory. Surrendering ourselves to Him and allowing Him to work in our lives, we will be able to see His faithfulness and love in our situations so that our faith in Him will be strengthened. The despair we face today will not last and when we remain in Christ and seek His face, we will be empowered in our faith by His Spirit so that we may find an unshakable strength in Him who works to build us up.
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.