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Exercising Our Spiritual Muscles

13th September 2017

Like most people, I always feel nervous having to speak in front of a large group of people or to a panel of judges. Recently an assessment item I had was to perform a debate in groups of three. At the beginning, I was confident with the task however as the date of the performance drew closer I became very anxious. Despite observing many debates before I’ve never had to perform one. Being the third speaker, I had to do a rebuttal which I felt totally unprepared for. Whilst rebutting the opposition team it dawned on me that the notes I had prepared earlier, which contained valuable information to help with the rebuttal, were still on the table and I did not take it with me when I was speaking. Once the debate was over I started to question why did God put me through these tough situations or why does he keep testing us.

Throughout life we will face many tests, some may be easy whilst others are very challenging. Sometimes when we are faced with difficult situations we may question God on why does he keep testing us. In both the Old and New Testaments, the words translated “test” mean “to prove by trial.” When God tests us, his purpose is to prove that our faith is real and that no trial will overcome our faith.

In James 1:2-4 it says:

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

This scripture tells us that trials come in many ways and that perseverance in testing results in spiritual maturity and completeness.

A way to look at it is that suppose you never had any physical exercise; all you ever did was lie in bed all day. What would happen to your muscles? It’d get weaker and weaker as the days go by until eventually you wouldn’t be able to move out of bed. Our muscles only become strong if we continually exercise and challenge them to do more. The more we exercise the stronger they get. This is like our faith, if it is never challenged it will get weaker. However, when these trials enter our lives we are forced to exercise our spiritual “muscles” which in turn will strengthen our faith.

Despite the many tests we face throughout our lives, we need to remember that these tests will help us to strengthen our faith.

As it says in James 1:12:

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.

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