Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
— James 1:2-3
In December of 1987, a Soviet cosmonaut returned to earth after nearly 11 months in orbit above the earth. He was in very good health, which hadn’t always been the case in journeys like this. Five years earlier, after 211 days in space, two cosmonauts were sick for almost a month after they returned from orbit.
So what was the difference? Well, after the earlier cosmonauts returned to earth atrophied and sick after so long in zero gravity, the Soviets invented the “penguin suit,” a running suit laced with elastic bands that resisted every move the wearer made. This forced the cosmonauts to exert strength every time they moved. And it was the resistance that strengthened them.
It can be easy to long for days without difficulty. But God knows that if we’re to become stronger, we must face resistance in our lives. Now, that doesn’t mean we should only long for hard days, but it does mean that the resistance we face has a purpose of making us stronger.
The truth is that an easier life leads to weaker spiritual muscles. But if we’ll face our troubles head on, fully trusting in Christ’s power in us, we’ll grow stronger spiritually and be ready for the next challenge that comes our way.
Pray and ask God to develop your “spiritual muscles” by giving you the resolve to face life’s challenges head on with faith in Him.
Questions for Thought
If it’s true that ease actually makes us weaker, what’s the healthiest attitude we can have toward challenges in life?
What challenges are you facing today through which you can be strengthened by facing them head on and trusting in God?