“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know they are good for us — they help us learn to endure.” Romans 5:3 (NLT)
It’s amazing how God’s truths are continuously revealed all around us! Those of us who exercise know that in order for a muscle to get stronger, it must be repeatedly put up against an increasing amount of resistance. If I want to grow my bicep, for example, I will need to do bicep curls with a fairly heavy weight, repeating until almost the point of muscle exhaustion. Then repeat. It is the resistance that makes my bicep stronger.
And so it is with my soul. In order to grow my character, I have to be put up against things that are hard for me. I have to learn how to endure a little longer, resist a little more, lean into God a little further. Just like my bicep, it is the resistance & struggle that makes me stronger. It is through the storm that my weak areas are made stronger.
I have started working to increase the percentage of muscle mass on my body. To do that, I have to repeatedly lift heavy enough weights to tax my body. I will have to continue to put my body through enough strain and trial that the muscle fibers actually begin to tear so that when the body heals it, the fibers are actually stronger than before. Do I rejoice in doing this? Not always, but once I hit my goal — trust me — there will be great rejoicing!
And fortunately, God is putting together the workout plan for my soul. In His love, He wants to see my weak areas grow stronger. Do I rejoice in these trials? Not always, but when I see growth in my own character and soul, I am deeply grateful. So I am learning not to turn away from problems and trials, but instead to embrace them and ask God what He wants me to learn. Because, in fact, I do want to come through them rejoicing!