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Why You Should Engage the Difficulties

I take the stairs as much as possible. It sometimes drives my family crazy because if we’re in a hotel and staying on the third or fourth floor, 95% of the time, I find those stairs and skip the elevator. Years ago, I worked in a three story building with an elevator, but I literally never used it on any day I worked there.

I deliberately choose the hard way in this area because I understand its benefits while I don’t always see it that way with my spiritual life (or life in general).

It can be hard to see challenges as something that is leading me where you want to go.  You see those stairs, but instead of embracing the challenge before you, you desperately look for an elevator, a quick solution.

You may entertain some denial or anger. You get frustrated and freak out a little (or a lot). Where is that elevator?!

How is it that I can see the benefits of the harder way when it comes to my health, but I can’t see it in regard to spirituality and relationship with God?

If we can finally grasp this, then maybe we’ll understand the Apostle Paul wasn’t trying to be a jerk when he said, “we rejoice in our sufferings.” We aren’t masochists; we understand what it produces (Romans 5:3).

And maybe that’s why he also said in Romans 8:18 that he considers “our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”

Great athletes don’t put themselves through rigorous training conditions because they’re stupid.  They are after something.  There is a purpose for their “suffering” and a passion to succeed.

I’m afraid there is no spiritual elevator so we should stop looking for one.  Just take a breath and start heading up those stairs.  See the benefits even if it looks impossible. You discipline yourself as well as allowing His discipline to work in you.

Truly, you can endure all hardship as discipline (Hebrews 12:7). As one minister said it, “you’re training for reigning.”

The discipline is important, but you’re not on your own. Thankfully your Father is right next to you, every step of the way.  You may stumble, but you only have to lean on Him.

Life is full of challenges to believe and trust, to love without reserve, to grow and change.  I believe it’s certainly time to embrace this.  It may not be easy, but if you understand why you’re doing it and the benefits born of believing and forging ahead, you won’t give up.

That puts a little different spin on Psalm 103:2, “Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.”  Sure, it’s a narrow road, but we are loved, guided, trained, and released into a wonderful destiny with every step.  Those are some incredible benefits!

How about you? Do you find yourself embracing life’s challenges or looking for the “elevator”? What are your thoughts?

2 Comments

  1. Yes, Jason, so often we’ll take on those physical challenges to improve our health, but do we forget about the spiritual ones, or simply ignore them? Great food for thought. And yes, I’ll take the stairs!
    Blessings!

    • I try to live this, but I also struggle with it. We need to resistance to grow, but it can be so hard! Thanks Martha and blessings to you too.

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