Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen. -II Peter 3:17, 18 (KJV)
As you may recall, I have written in both of my blogs about how that I have been attempting to get in better physical condition. Something I have learned about this process is that starting out can be painful. I was having a conversation recently with a young man I know who also is making a number of lifestyle changes involving exercise and fitness. He made the comment that after increasing his exercise routine that he “felt it in his body” as he never had before. His muscles, heart, and lungs were responding to the increased activity as they were pushed beyond what they had been used to. Over time our as we exercise, our muscles become accustomed to greater use, but until that happens we certainly will feel it in ways we previously had not experienced. In the end, however, we are better off, for we have grown stronger.
The Word of God teaches that as followers of Christ we are to always be undergoing spiritual growth. We are to be careful not to become spiritually stagnant and complacent. Stagnation and complacency can creep into our lives and hinder the growth which the Lord intends for us to experience. This spiritual growth process, however, can be painful. As we are stretched and as we grow we also will feel it in ways we had not felt before. But in the end we will find that we are stronger; our faith has grown and increased, and our perspective on life and our problems have become more focused and in tune with God’s will.
The spiritual growth which the Bible speaks of will not happen overnight. Instead, it is a lifelong process of staying in the Word, daily prayer, being faithful, and seeking the Lord through any and all circumstances. Do we believe that God is faithful? If so then the Lord will confirm to us His faithfulness on a daily basis. Christ will never let us down, neither will He abandon us in our time of need. The Lord will be there to comfort us as our faith is being refined and as we are growing in Him.
What sort of spiritual battles are you facing today? Remember that when we are faithful the Lord will bring us through and we will come out stronger on the other side. Jesus is Lord, and He will empower us to stand firm through all our trials.
Do not be discouraged. Look to the Lord, keep growing in the faith, and be faithful – at all times.