Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” ~ James 1:2, 3
I am not naturally a very noble or valiant person. And so when I read this verse over the years, I would flinch and go through it quickly, because I didn’t relish trials. Our lives have been full of them and I have, at times, learned to dread another day in case it might have some new trial in it.
Having four children, homeschooling, moving 17 times-- six times internationally, and all the difficulties in relationships, criticism for my ideals, finances, health issues, loneliness, marriage, the different phases of my children’s lives, ministry and an overload of responsibilities … just keeping up with all the work that never ends was so very much harder than I ever realized life would be.
Though in my early 20′s I had become serious about the Lord and truly committed to going anywhere and doing anything for His kingdom, I no more had an idea of what that would mean than a little girl who dresses up as a princess and pretends to know what it would mean to become a queen and rule a country. Yet, I can look back now, after many years of trials, and see that God had great plans for my life. The only pathway to these plans of His was through many trials. I had committed myself to becoming a warrior for His kingdom in this life, not realizing that in order for someone to become a general to lead others into battle, he must first begin with basic training.
Basic training is that hard, disciplined, demanding season of training that seeks to build strength and self-control in the life of a would-be soldier. It is for the purpose of drawing soldiers forward, stretching their capacity to be stronger, more capable, and to live up to their own ability and potential. After passing successfully through basic training, a soldier must prove worthy in real battles to earn the right to humbly and wisely lead others into victory in bigger arenas.
And so, because God delights in us entering into the fray of this world to bring light, beauty, and truth; because He wants us to learn to stand strongly and boldly for His purposes, He sends us trials and training to prepare us for the platform He would have us stand on. His trials have been the training grounds to give me integrity in my messages so that I really could encourage other women. Only God was there in the dark moments of my life, to see if my heart would respond in faith, to do the hard work, to love when no one else knew I was making the right choices but God.
Are you facing trials today?
May God grant you the grace to make your story one of worship, redemption and hope.
And may you know His constant love along your journey's way.