Let Trials Make You More Like Jesus
“For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” (James 1:3-4, NLT)
We know the end of the story: Jesus is coming back! When he does, he will make all things right and just. And if you are his follower, you will spend eternity with him.
Knowing how the story ends should change everything. One of the biggest ways it affects your life is that it should motivate you to use adversity to become stronger spiritually.
That's what James says you should do while you're on earth waiting for Jesus’ second coming: “For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing” (James 1:3-4 NLT).
You will undoubtedly face stress, problems, difficulties, and trouble in this life. In the time between now and when you die or Christ comes back, you should use those trials to develop endurance and become more like Christ in character.
Does becoming like Christ sound impossible? The Bible says God can do that work in us: “May God himself, the God who makes everything holy and whole, make you holy and whole” (1 Thessalonians 5:23 The Message).
Are you whole -- like these verses say you can be -- or are you fragmented? Are you put together, or are you falling apart? These days, we all feel like we’re falling apart a little -- and that’s okay. You’re not supposed to have it all together. You’re not perfect, and you won’t be while you’re here on earth. You can’t change that.
What you can do is work on getting spiritually fit in preparation for the coming of Jesus Christ.
It’s important to stay physically fit and take care of your mental health. But you cannot neglect your spiritual fitness. You don’t have to be the strongest, fastest, or healthiest when it comes to being spiritually fit. You just need to keep working on it and recognize that the trouble you face is often an opportunity to grow in faith.
If you're out of work, if you’re sick, if you're feeling the weight of prejudice, turn to God’s Word and his promises. When it feels like you’re falling apart, remember that God is still working to make you more like him, and he can use even the most difficult circumstances in your life to do it.
Talk It Over
What trials in your own life are you questioning God about? How might they help make you more like Jesus?
Why is it important to have discipline when it comes to your spiritual growth?
How do God’s promises help you when you feel overwhelmed by stress and adversity?
Let Your Trials Lead You to Jesus
Jesus says those who share in his suffering will also share in his reward in heaven. But the first step toward this is to follow Jesus as your Lord and Savior. God says today is the day to follow Jesus: “‘At the right time I heard your prayers. On the day of salvation I helped you.’ I tell you that the ‘right time’ is now, and the ‘day of salvation’ is now” (2 Corinthians 6:2 NCV).
Why wait any longer? Today is the day to step across the line and tell Jesus Christ, “I want to have a relationship with you.”
How do you do that? Start by talking to him in prayer. He’s listening to you right now! He’s already done everything that needs to be done. That’s why he came to earth. That’s why he died on the cross and was resurrected.
He wants to give you a gift, and the way you accept it is by telling him in prayer:
“Today, Jesus, I want to take the first step toward you. I want to get to know you. I admit I don’t understand it all. But, as much as I know how, I want to open up my life to you. I want to receive your gift for me.
Replace my guilt with your gift of forgiveness. Replace my worries with your gift of peace. Replace my fear of death with your gift of eternal life.
Right now I invite you to come and make your home in my heart. I pray this in your name. Amen.”
If you just prayed to accept Jesus, please email me at Rick@PastorRick.com and let me know about it. I’d like to send you some free materials to help you start your journey with Jesus.
Premium Resource: Daring Faith Study Kit
This devotional © 2021 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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