My amazing husband spoke a very profound and powerful message two weekends ago at our home church. I’d like to share with you, something that really challenged me.
The message was talking about growing spiritually and how we need to be a people who are prepared for what is coming in these days. We need to be “spiritually strong” and in order to be strong we need to exercise our spiritual muscles. How are we strengthen spiritually? How do we measure spiritual strength and what qualifies us to be spiritually strong? Is it the length of time that we are a believer? How much we know about the Bible? It is dependent on time or is it a function of learning? NONE of these are functions to measure our spiritual growth. Spiritual growth/maturity is a function of obedience in suffering.
True spiritual growth comes when EVERYTHING goes wrong in your life and YOU CHOOSE GOD! It is SO important how we respond to adversity. It is easy to blame other people or other situations when times of testing come. It is easy to give into our emotions and wrong beliefs and thoughts. It is hard to resist ourselves and seek God’s will in it all. But that is the exercise that truly brings growth and change. Just like intense physical exercise initially damages our muscles so they can get stronger so suffering brings pain and discomfort in our lives in order to bring about growth.
Matthew 16:24-25, Msg. Then Jesus went to work his disciples. “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat. I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but loose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?
How do you respond in suffering? What is your first reaction or thought when someone else wrongs you?
I have been really trying lately to look at trials and testing through a new and focused lense. I have been trying to see that each is an opportunity to grow my spiritual muscles so that I can prove to be strong. If we are strong spiritually then we are able to bear the weight of what is to come. We need to be a people committed to spiritual exercise and growth.
May you continue to obey in your suffering, as you are tested and tried, in order that you may grow spiritually strong. May your Spirit be strengthed as you endure sufferings and hardships. I pray that the eyes of your hearts will be opened and you will know the hope to which you are called in Christ. Bless you today!