Rooted in Christ

Exercising Faith

Trials offer weight resistance to our faith in order to strengthen it.

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds” (James 1:2) 

What makes muscles grow stronger? Weight resistance. If we curl a dumbbell that is too light we won’t realize much benefit. However, if the weight is just beyond our reach so that it requires work, our muscles will develop and strengthen. 

Trials offer weight resistance to our faith in order to strengthen it. And the weight they offer has been measured for us by our God. He knows the degree of our spiritual development and brings trials tailored to us to mature us in the faith. 

What is the weight resistance of trials? Sometimes it is the burden itself. We ask ourselves “how can we bear up under so great a strain?” In faith we cast ourselves and our cares on our God and, like the psalmist, cry out to Him in abject honesty. We cast on Him our doubts and fears that add heft to the burden. 

In all these things, we find our God sufficient. In taking the yoke of our Lord Jesus upon us, we labor on. The burden of the hardship is remarkably light, something we can consider all joy because our Savior is with us and He leads us. 

With the start of a new year, gyms are full with people intent on carrying out their freshly-made resolutions. But as we ourselves have likely experienced, those efforts do not last for long. The lack of quick results and the amount of effort required often discourage us to press on. 

But the trials that God brings to us are not ours to opt out of. They carry His intentions for us. He who began a good work in us will see it to the day of completion. 

“Father, I thank You for Your love that will not let me go. Have Your own way. You are the potter; I am the clay.”

Stan Gale

Stanley D. Gale (MDiv Westminster, DMin Covenant) has pastored churches in Maryland and Pennsylvania for over 30 years. He is the author of several books, including A Vine-Ripened Life: Spiritual Fruitfulness through Abiding in Christ and The Christian’s Creed: Embracing the Apostolic Faith. He has been married to his wife, Linda, since 1975. They have four children and nine grandchildren. He lives in West Chester, Pa.
Books by Stan Gale