Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 1 Peter 4:12-13 NIV
The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, But the LORD tests the hearts Proverbs 17:1 NKJV
Harsh winds blew this butterfly sideways. Yet, it hung on.
And we should too.
We all have some preconceived notion about how much stress we think we can bear. Most of us are reluctant to endure anything beyond what is absolutely necessary.
However, God knows our greatest potential. In order to unlock the best within us, we must often endure some trials that will inevitably strengthen and prepare us for what lies ahead.
What you may perceive as a loss—divorce, bankruptcy, unemployment or failed relationships may actually prepare you for a brighter future. The ability to withstand the stress of life’s disappointments is the same discipline required to enjoy life’s blessings without becoming consumed by them.
A prospering business or active family is very much a blessing. But each comes with its own share of challenges and responsibilities. The ability to bend without breaking or walk through fire comes with maturity and experience gained not in the good times but in the bad.
A nail is hammered into place to keep things together. The hammering makes the nail effective and allows it to serve its purpose.
As much as it hurts, our hammering shapes us as well.
It can build us up from the inside out or we can allow it to beat us down.
Through Christ we can endure whatever we are forced to face and come out stronger than we ever dared imagine.
God’s grace is sufficient.
Endure the stress, and pass your tests!
Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:7-9 NIV