And not only this, but [with joy] let us exult in our sufferings and rejoice in our hardships, knowing that hardship (distress, pressure, trouble) produces patient endurance; and endurance, proven character (spiritual maturity); and proven character, hope and confident assurance [of eternal salvation].
Romans 5:3-4 AMP
The Lord’s desire is that we would grow into spiritual maturity. This is accomplished through the many trials and challenges we face throughout the day. Through every challenge we learn to stand upon God’s word no matter how we feel nor what we see with our eyes. When we confronted with a challenge we either have the choice to align ourselves with the Lord and His kingdom, or abandon our faith and run after the desires of self.
Jesus promised us in this world we would have trouble but to fear not He has over come the world. The Lord defeated the curse of sin and death at the cross and every one who places their faith and trust in Jesus Christ are set free and will spend all eternity in His kingdom. The Lord has called us to persevere and endure. We are not called to run for cover when things become difficult, we are called to stand upon His word and His promises and stay faithful in the place of prayer.
We must remember that our home is not of this world. Our citizenship is in heaven and we are called to focus our hearts upon things above. We live in a dark world and it is becoming darker by the day. If we were to simply focus on the world and its ways we would think that things are out of control and without rhyme or reason. But the truth is that all things happen within the sovereign will of almighty God. He is setting apart a people of Himself and when the time comes the trumpet shall sound and we shall go home.
Until that day let us persevere in the face of challenge and trial. Challenge are a natural part of the Christian walk and if we learn to embrace them and not complain we know that we are beginning to walk in the place of maturity. Maturity will keep our hearts focused upon the Lord and will keep us standing fast in the place of prayer and faith.
I absolutely love this article from The Father’s Heart on WordPress. It tells us how our challenges and trials shape who we are as people and that couldn’t be any closer to the truth.