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3 Ways to Grow Through Your Trial

tight-spaceLast week, it occurred to me that many times we tend to go through our trials when God intends for us to grow through them (and I don’t simply mean at the end of the challenge, you find some lesson).

Everything is compatible with learning and advancing. No matter how dire the situation appears, God has more than enough reserves of grace, goodness, and His presence to meet you throughout and mature you further into wholeness.

Hebrews 12:7 tells us,

Endure hardship as God’s discipline and rejoice that He is treating you as His children, for what child doesn’t experience discipline from a parent?

Then later in Hebrews 12:11,

When punishment is happening, it never seems pleasant, only painful. Later, though, it yields the peaceful fruit called righteousness to everyone who has been trained by it.

There is grace to treat every obstacle and hardship as a discipline/instruction opportunity. Yet sadly, it only yields fruit if you are trained by it.

To me, that’s the difference between going through and growing through. God’s not looking for ways to hurt you. He’s allowing for the exposing of our hearts so that we can grow in fellowship, relationship, and maturity. As you probably know all too well, it’s not the easy times that build our character, but trusting Him through the difficulty.

So how can you continue to grow through?

  1. Maintain thankfulness. The author of Hebrews invites us to rejoice in God’s discipline. I shared last week about God challenging me to be thankful for the delays like Corrie ten Boom was thankful for the fleas in her prison camp barracks. Thanksgiving turns your heart away from what’s wrong or lacking and reminds you how great your Father is. It shifts focus and allows growth.
  2. Embrace His word. God’s word is not a lamp to your feet and a light to your path, it is a comfort through the storms of life. I am amazed how God illuminates scripture differently in the trials I’ve faced. You may have read a passage over and over, but when you embrace His voice in the word in the midst of difficulty, those words are truly life to your whole being. The testimonies of great men and women of God become your testimony.
  3. Don’t give up. Believe me, I know when things get hard our humanity can lean on some ridiculous and even destructive things as ways to cope with the stress. I can’t condone any of it and neither can God, but if you fall short and mess up, get back up. Perseverance is accessible through the Holy Spirit. Don’t let go of the promises He’s given you. Repent if you need to and get back up! The righteous man falls seven times, but he keeps getting up (Proverbs 24:16). Your righteousness is not derived from your own doing but from faith in Jesus’ sacrifice. The only way to forfeit the promise is to walk away. His word is sure and done.

I feel like I’ve settled too many times–that I’ve set my heart on surviving rather than thriving in the challenges. I encourage you, no matter what you may face, God is well able to bring you into the fullness of His promises.

What are your thoughts on this? What are some ways you see to grow through trial and not simply go through?

6 Comments

  1. Growing through our trials -- what a great concept and a much better way to take all our trial in stride as an opportunity to become closer to God.
    Blessings, Jason!
    Martha Orlando recently posted..Even To Your Old AgeMy Profile

    • It was something that really touched me--glad it encouraged you too, Martha! Thank you. Blessings to you too.

  2. One reason I named my blog “Struggle to Victory” is because I believe so thoroughly in this idea of “growing through trial.” I believe we struggle because it’s part of life and that victory ~ growth ~ comes within struggle.
    Kari Scare recently posted..Spiritual FitnessMy Profile

    • Absolutely. Having that resistance gives us the strength to stand when it’s most needed. And you have a wonderful blog, by the way. 🙂 Thanks so much, Kari.

  3. Trials. Ugh.

    Most of the time (all of the time) I find myself just wanting the trials to go away. I recall a time with my son years ago. He was on a traveling all-star roller hockey team. They were good, but seriously outmatched in this very competitive league. After losing several games, I gave him *the speech* -- you know, the one that every parent thinks they “should” give -- that it wasn’t all about winning, and that losing teaches you character. To which my son replied, “I think I’ve got enough character, Mom. Now I’d like to win.” Truth be told, I didn’t like losing either, and he knew it!

    This is how I often feel about trials. C’mon, Lord, I’m tired of working on my character! But, He knows that we are imperfect, and that trials have a God-ordained purpose in our lives. So, I will try again to grow through them, not just go through them.

    GOD BLESS!
    Sharon recently posted..SHOES, SHOES, ALWAYS SHOESMy Profile

    • That’s good--I like it! Yeah, I think it’s both. Setting out to “win” (whatever that looks like) is important. Character is formed along the way, but if we abdicate God’s chosen end and fulfillment in favor of the “lesson” we think God is trying to teach us, I think we can get off track. I want to win too! He calls us overcomers. Overcomers with nothing to overcome are unproven and can’t truly live up to that title. Good thoughts, Sharon! Thank you so much. 🙂

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