Life is easy when things are going right. There are no complaints and there is minimal stress and tension in our lives. However, when it comes to those days when we face difficulty, there tends to be much to complain about. We lose focus on the most important aspect of our faith – a loving and gracious Heavenly Father that continually guides us through. In today’s devotional Our Daily Bread, we read the following:
In April 1937, Mussolini’s invading armies forced all the missionaries serving in the Wallamo region to flee Ethiopia. They left behind just 48 Christian converts, who had little more than the gospel of Mark to feed their growth. Few even knew how to read. But when the missionaries returned 4 years later, the church had not just survived; it numbered 10,000!
The question we must ask ourselves is how are we thriving and growing through those difficult times that we face in the seasons of our own lives? Many times, in my own life, those difficult times caused one to shrink back in fear. We inevitably cause our own spiritual atrophy through our own fears and finite understanding. Where we ought to grow stronger in our faith and spiritual maturation, we stifle our own talents and means to grow. We hold to the false ideas that because we are saved by the Grace of God through Jesus Christ, life becomes easier for us. Even Christ himself, when he spoke with his disciples, stated that they will face their own trials and to be of good cheer (John 16:33, KJV).
For us, growing through difficult times not only strengthens our faith in God, it allows us to live out our faith as a light unto those who are also going through difficult times. It is saddening to hear Christians equate the trials of their faith and the seasons of difficulty to the adversary and not allow themselves to grow. They rebuke the season of difficulty as if it is some evil anomaly in their life. Instead, we are like the Israelites, traversing through the wilderness of our own lives until we are able to enter into the promised land – which is the Kingdom of God. We will experience difficult times in those seasons. Are we going to rise up and stand firm in our faith and convictions – or, are we going to shrink back and disallow any spiritual growth in those times of difficulty?