Working Out Your Faith

One blessing God brings into our lives through trials is increased patience.

A friend of mine when I was a teenager had been a small guy for most of his life. Not scrawny by any means, but certainly no muscle-man. Then, almost overnight, it was as though his muscles exploded!

His biceps began to bulge, his triceps were tremendous, and his deltoids became defined.

I asked him, “What have you been doing?”

He said, “I’ve just been working out.”

Curious, I said, “So, how do you work out your muscles?”

“Well, I pick a muscle I want to make stronger,” he explained. “Let’s say it’s my biceps. I begin to work out that muscle. I’ll lift a dumbbell over and over and over again until I can’t lift anymore.”

“Then what?” I asked.

“When the muscle fails, I know that the muscular tissue has torn,” my friend continued. “I give the muscle about 48 hours to rest and heal. When the muscle heals, the tissue grows back a little bit thicker and a little bit stronger.

“Then, I can lift a heavier weight. So, I lift more, repeat the exercise until the muscle fails, give it 48 hours to heal, and so on and so forth,” he said. “Eventually, you see a change in your muscle size and strength.”

According to Scripture, just as lifting weights strengthen your muscles, trusting God in a trial will strengthen your patience.

In James 1:3, the Bible says: “The testing of your faith produces patience.”

There are four load-bearing words in that verse:

Testing – A word that means to be proved or pushed to the limit.

Faith – The trust we place in Jesus Christ.

Produces – To work out or to carry out a task until it is finished.

Patience – To persevere or stand up under something.

If we put those words back together and expand the meaning a bit, we get something like this: “When your trust in Jesus Christ is pushed to the limit, it works out and strengthens your ability to stand up to harsh circumstances and to persevere.”

Nobody in his or her right mind wants to sign up for additional trials in our lives, but here’s the beautiful truth: God uses the trials that inevitably come our way to strengthen us as we trust in Him.

So, count it all joy!

Have a great day and keep moving forward!

Suggested Bible Reading

James 1:1-12

Prayer Guide

Today as you pray …

Consider the areas where your patience is being put to the test.

Pray for greater patience in …

… Your family

… Your relationships

… Your workplace

… Your church

… Your inner life.

Ask the Lord to give you increased faith to trust Him today.

Rejoice that God is working even in the trials of your life to strengthen your patience.