If only we could look at all the “labors” in our life with such joy! So often, we experience growing pains meant to form us into new, beautiful creations in God’s eyes, but the painful process can discourage us. We focus on the trial rather than the end result. God’s word promises that we can face our troubles with confidence and hope because God will use our difficulties to grow and shape us.
“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love” (Romans 5:3-5).
Have you ever gone through a painful or challenging time but then experienced such blessings as a result that you would be willing to go through it again in order to come to an even deeper relationship with Christ? I know that is a difficult idea to grasp. None of us like trials, let alone pain. But, when we remember that God uses everything in our life -- the good, the bad, the difficult, and the easy -- to mold and shape us into the women He created us to be, the sting of the journey is eased. When we consciously focus on Christ and on what He is doing through the pain, we can be sure that our faith will grow. God never wastes a hurt. We aren't asked to celebrate the pain, but we are told to remember that through that pain, God is creating something beautiful. We can trust Him for that.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:2-4).