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Can you imagine roots of faith so deep that we walk in total peace in the worst of circumstances? Never afraid, worried, or anxious as we look trouble right in the eye and persevere in the faith. That is where I want to walk, and the only path appears to be a direct path through troubled times. The greater the pain, the deeper the roots of faith will grow. The key to our victory in the midst of the trial is based on how we choose to view the turmoil that has come upon us.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you encounter trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Allow perseverance to finish its work, so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:2-4 BSB).
While I do not believe that our suffering and pain is what God brings or desires, He can and will use all things for our good, especially if we cooperate. The cooperation He is looking for is found in our perseverance in the faith no matter what may come.
And we know that God works together all things for good to those loving God, to those being called according to His purpose (Rom 8:28 BSB).
When trouble comes, our options are to focus on the problem and waste this time languishing in defeat and self-pity that can destroy our faith and life. Or, refuse to waste this time, fix our eyes on Jesus and fully trust the author and finisher to perfect our faith (Heb 12:2).
Troubled times are a perfect time, and realistically the only time for us to grow the deepest roots that lead to an overcoming faith. I believe our greatest benefit during these times will only come when we choose to change our perspective, recognizing and welcoming the growth in the process. This change in focus from the negative aspect of the trial to the positive is precisely how the Apostles rejoiced in their trials. They rejoiced in the growth their faith would experience going through the storm, not in the actual pain and suffering.
Not only that, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us (Rom 5: 3-5 BSB)
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