Many journeys experience hiccups and endure hardships, even amidst their abundant goodness. In fact, I don’t think it would be a journey if there wasn’t an obstacle. Obstacles are there in order to make the journey more memorable, to make the journey real. This is exactly where the next part of The Journey is at: trials.
Trials are a natural part of everyone’s journey. As far as mine goes, God allowed me to experience a season of growth and joy in preparation for trials to come during that same summer. So, following that season of abundance, I went through another season. This one was also a season of joy, but it was a different kind. This joy came from being tested, and suffering hardships. That statement seems odd right? How could someone ever be happy and joyful when going through something hard and difficult? Here is the simple answer: trials shape us into the image of Christ.
“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
My trial, near the end of that summer, was learning how to live as a true Christ-follower in the midst of my family. I was having to trust God to work through my family, and trusting Him to protect my heart in the process. On top of this, nearing the beginning of the school year, I also had to cut ties from previous friend groups that had been unfruitful, and would be toxic to my walk with Christ. All of it was entirely worth it though, because I was certain that God would work through it, strengthening me to become more and more like His Son with every step I took.
“So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight.”2 Corinthians 5:6-7 ESV
All journeys will encounter trials. What truly matters, though, is how you endure those trials. Everyone should look to God with complete certainty that His righteous sovereignty is more than enough to bring you through tough periods and hardships with a deep joy in knowing that you are being constructed into the image of His Son. Trials will come and things will get difficult. What matters, though, is your active obedience through trials: denying everything, taking up Your cross, and trusting in and following Him. The next part of The Journey will arrive at its next destination: calling.
- How should you respond during trials?
- What are some trials you have experienced before? How have those shaped you into the image of Christ?
- Have you trusted that Christ is enough to bring you through your greatest struggles?