by A.W. Tozer
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing or your faith develops perseverance. James 1:2-3
The whole Bible and all past history unite to teach that battles are always won before the armies take the field. The critical moment for any army is not the day it engages the foe in actual combat; it is the day before or the month before or the year before. It is an old saying that the wars of England were won on the playing fields of Eton. The experience of hard training, tough competition and sportsmanship gained in their school years prepared the young men for real war when it came.
Again that rule holds for all of us everywhere, even up on the high levels of spiritual warfare. It did not take Moses long to lead the children of Israel out through the Red Sea to deliverance and freedom; but his fittedness to lead them out was the result of years of hard discipline. It took David only a few minutes to dispose of Goliath; but he had beaten the giant long before in the person of the lion and the bear. Elijah faced a sulking King Ahab and stared him down in the name of Jehovah, but we must remember that his courage to stand before kings was the result of years spent in standing before the King of kings. Christ stood silent in the presence of Pilate and for our sake went calmly out to die. He could endure the anguish of the cross because He had suffered the pains of Gethsemane the night before; there was a direct relationship between the two experiences. One served as a preparation for the other.
Who of us welcomes trials and counts them as pure joy? Trials hurt but they also prepare. Trials produce perseverance which leads to maturity. Want to grow in Christ? Welcome trials!
Father, forgive me for my whining when undergoing trial and discipline. You see what is ahead and are preparing me for it. Help me to so understand what is occurring and to accept it in faith.
by A.W. Tozer