Imagine a soldier attending their first day of boot camp.
The drill instructor stands in front of the new recruits and yells,
“Be strong! Fight hard!
When someone is trying to kill you, just fight back!
Now, go conquer the enemy!
Good luck! You are dismissed!“
If this actually was his tactic, there would be utter failure and defeat.
Rather, the soldiers are trained physically to endure hardship.
They are put through trials to build endurance.
The instructor trains their minds to have discipline over the body and emotion.
Our gracious Father
does the same thing.
He does not thrust us into a battle unprepared.
In His sovereign wisdom, He allows trials necessary to build the strength of our faith.
Trials to build endurance so we make it to the end of our race.
Trials to build the discipline of our mind so we are not controlled by our heart.
He knows the journey we must take to live our best life for Him.
We think He is taking detours,
or not considering our need,
but He is in fact, refining us, taking
us by the hand through the fire.
Training us to be equipped for the next battle, and the next trial.
In the end, we will marvel at His wisdom.
We will praise Him for His understanding and His ways.
We will be in awe
of the beauty of His plan.
Our hearts will swell with gratitude that He invested so much time to refine us, to prepare and equip us, and to bring us victoriously to the end of our course.
We will attest to His faithfulness as we see that the path He led us on, led to good just like He promised.
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Thou therefore, my son, be strong
in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
Thou therefore endure hardness,
as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
II Timothy 2:1, 3
Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver;
I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.
But none of these things move me,
neither count I my life dear unto myself,
so that I might finish my course with joy,
and the ministry,
which I have received of the Lord Jesus,
to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
O the depth of the riches both of the
wisdom and knowledge of God!
how unsearchable are his judgments,
and his ways past finding out!
O LORD, thou art my God;
I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name;
for thou hast done wonderful things;
thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.
Now thanks be unto God,
which always causeth us to triumph in Christ,
II Corinthians 2:14a
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