FRIDAY, JANUARY 18
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
James 1:2-4 ESV
SPIRITUAL HABIT #4 – TRUST IN THE TRIALS
One day a farmer’s donkey fell into a well. The animal cried out for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided that the animal was very old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just was not worth it to retrieve the donkey. He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. Everyone grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone’s amazement he quieted down. A few shovel-loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing; he would shake it off and take a step up. As the farmer’s neighbors continued to shovel dirt on the top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off. This fictitious story illustrates a valuable lesson. Life will throw all kinds of dirt on our backs. We may feel like there is no way out. But, God has another idea. He wants to use the difficult times in our lives to raise us up to new levels of growth and maturity.
One of the main ways that God grows our faith is through adversity. Our role is to not let adversity bury our faith. Instead, we should trust God to use the difficult things in our life for our good. Paul explains this in Romans 8:28: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” As we trust God in difficult times, He grows our faith. When our faith is tested or exercised, the result will be that God will perfect or mature our faith. What difficulty in your life has God used to build greater faith in Him? Ask God to help you trust Him even when life gets tough and discouragement knocks on your door.