"Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way." James 1:2-3 (The Message)
WOW! Is that how you would look at tests & challenges--a sheer gift? I would tend to think of it as a punishment. But when you read this version, it seems like a privilege if you were to go through a trial. And isn't that the way we should look at it?
Like any parent, your Heavenly father wants the best for you. He wants to help you become the very best you that you can be. If everything was always rosy and sweet--no bumps in the road--no trials in the courtroom--He knows we would become complacent. We'd get lazy--bored. We'd think that we have everything under control. God is nice, I'm glad He's out there, somewhere.
Trials and challenges are a gift. It shows us that our Father cares for us. He is pruning us, grooming us, for better things. It also shows us that as things are not always going our way, whether it's an attack from Satan or a gift from our Father, He's there with us. That either way, our faith life is growing and being gleaned for our betterment.
We humans are a strange tribe. Since the beginning of time, we seem to have had to go through trials and tribulations in order to have any true growth. Think about Adam & Eve. Think about the Israelites roaming in the desert for 40 years. Remember David. The list could go on.
God wanted us to have a simple, easy life, but we apparently had other plans. I know that even though I wouldn't wish to go through the trials in my life that I have, it was during those trials that I grew so close to my Heavenly Father. At times I had to lean and cling to Him for dear life. I had to get down on my knees, literally, and just cry out to Him for peace and comfort. And He did. I cherish those moments and memories.
How about you? Have you ever been there? If and when you are, please know your God loves you and will help you through. Just give it all to Him.