Some people assume that by serving God in our lives, we are entitled to ease. But we forget that God shapes His servants through trials.
Often we've associated God's blessing with prosperity but our understanding of blessing can fall short in a lot of ways. True blessing is anything that makes you depend more and want more of God, which is why some of the biggest blessings are trials.
When you look at the disciples when they were on a ship in the raging sea, Peter walked on water during the storm because his eyes were on the King. When his eyes focused on the storm, he sank. The storms and trials of life may rage, but our perspective changes everything.
It is critical to see that, while these trials might provide momentary set-backs to our visible progress in the faith, they are ultimately providing the fuel we need to get to our destination. They build into our lives passion, perseverance, and deeper character change that go far beyond the surface behavior change we were trying to manifest in our lives. Often God answers our prayer for greater holiness, not by providing better circumstances that help us perform better, but by providing trials.
In fact, a fun thing to remember about baby birds is that if you break the shell of the egg before it's ready to hatch, the bird will ultimately die. However, if the bird breaks out of the shell on it's own, the bird actually gains the strength necessary to live outside of the shell by going through the process of breaking through their shell.
James 1:2-4 even reminds us of this:
“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."
Don’t run from the trials. Don’t fortify your life so you can stay safe and comfortable. You will miss out on being used by God. Are trials hard? Absolutely. But I would never trade any of my trials because of what God did through them. God allows us to experience trials because He is using us for His glory.
Friend, I don't know what obstacle you may be going through today, but I want to challenge you to embrace these trials as God's design to bring you to full maturity in Him. Always remember that God is at work in us, through us, and around us.