No one likes going through difficult times in his or her life. But even for Christians, those times will come in our life. One of the reasons this is true is because our personal tests help us to grow spiritually. Here is what the Bible says about that: "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything" (James 1:2-4).
Notice that this verse says that "the testing of your faith produces perseverance." To grasp this point, consider an athlete trying to produce the perseverance needed to endure a marathon. I submit that he can do this only by putting his body to the test by going beyond his normal routine. He will never reach his goal by staying within the confines of a comfortable workout. Similarly, to help us produce perseverance in our personal lives, it is necessary that we find ourselves subjected to personal tests that take us beyond the comfort zone of our life.
The key phrase to the whole process above is to "let perseverance finish its work." In other words, when we are tested we must be willing to endure the rigor of the test until the endas opposed to whining and wimping out. Of course, the latter reaction is always an option; no one puts a gun to our head and makes us faithfully go through a personal test.
When we encounter personal tests, a number of things happen that oftentimes do not when life is going well for us. For instance, personal tests place a greater demand on our prayer life, they test our patience to wait on the Lord, and they challenge our personal claims of having a deep faith in God. These intense spiritual exercises help to make us strong. Personally, it was during personal tests in my life that I learned what I was really made of on the inside.
There is nothing pleasant about what God is instructing us to do through the abovementioned passage. But note the ultimate objective: "that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." That's where God wants each of His children to arrive. And He often allows personal tests to try us and to help us to get there.
Perhaps as you read this article, you find yourself going through a difficult personal trial in your life. I want you to know that regardless to how you got in the place where you find yourself, it is God's desire that your personal tests help you to grow in Him.
Copyright 2012 by Frank King.
Frank King is a former church pastor. He is currently an evangelist and an author. Frank holds a Master of Theology degree. Through the grace of God, Frank has been blessed to cross cultural lines in his preaching. Website: http://www.efrankking.com
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