There is no shortcut to spiritual maturity. We need trials in our lives to help our faith grow stronger.
- Posted on May 7, 2020
My brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance; and let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2–4 (NRSV)
In John 16:33 Jesus made a promise to His followers: “Here on this earth, you will have many trials and sorrows” (NLT). I can understand that, since this world is opposed to Jesus and all He stands for. But I’ve always had a hard time understanding how I’m supposed to count those trials and sorrows as joy. I do want my faith to become “mature and complete,” but still—joy? Then I heard a story from a friend that changed my perspective on trials.
One spring Mike’s neighbor gave him some duck eggs and explained how to incubate them. Mike watched the eggs carefully; he couldn’t contain his excitement when he saw the baby ducks trying to break their way out. When he noticed that some were struggling, he helped them by breaking off parts of the eggshell. Sadly, those baby ducks died. His neighbor later told him the babies needed that initial struggle to help them gain strength. So despite trying to help, Mike had actually killed some of the baby ducks.
Just as those baby ducks needed the struggle to grow physically stronger, we need trials in our lives to help our faith grow stronger. There is no shortcut to spiritual maturity. To get there, we have to travel a road of trials, difficulties, and sorrows. But we can persevere because of the second half of John 16:33. The One who travels with us declares, “But take heart, because I have overcome the world” (NLT).
Faith Step: Think about your hardest struggle. Thank Jesus that He will use it to strengthen your faith.