One of the 7 principles that we have been talking about, in regards to Spiritual Warfare in the Marketplace, is the admonition to be prepared for the trials and tests in the marketplace. In fact, I Peter 4:12-13a says, “Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. 13 Instead, be very glad!”
Why would we be “very glad” when something difficult or challenging comes into our life or business? Romans 5:3-4 gives us a hint, “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.”
We can be joyful in trials because they are building something of value inside of us. If we allow them to, trials make us better, stronger, and more hopeful. In short, trials, properly responded to, make us better. What Joseph said of his trials is what we can say to Satan about ours, “You intended to harm me but God intended it for my good.”
I had Polio when I was a very young child (1½ years old) and the disease caused the nerves running to my quadriceps to stop working. As a result, 50+ years later, I wear a brace. I also deal with the fact that my leg has atrophied–it is a couple of inches shorter than my other leg and has little musculature. Now, I can’t go more than 5 yards without my brace. Interestingly, it wasn’t Polio that has caused this atrophy. It was the very brace, intended to help, that brought along this side effect. The brace supported me. It allowed my left leg to not have to carry my weight. It kept my left leg from being stressed. What was the result? A weak and underdeveloped limb. Simply because no one told me that I needed to “stress” that leg every day. If I had gotten it out of the brace and used it, daily, as much as I could, it would equal in size and strength to the other leg, albeit without the quad function.
Here is the point: we need to give up hoping, wondering, and wishing away our trials and tests. The truth is that they are inevitable. The truth is, we can be victorious in the midst of those trials. We must not take ourselves out of the battle, but rather, become battle hardened, made strong by the fight. Then, we will have the endurance to overcome and we will enter each new battle with new and greater confidence, hope, and assurance.
David was confident that he could kill Goliath because before he faced the giant, he faced the lion and the bear and God made it possible for him to kill them with his bare hands.
There may be true giants in our future. Let’s start rejoicing now that we can face, with God’s direction and help, lions and bears to build our faith, confidence, and endurance for the fight.
– posted by Randall Sanford