“If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan?” (Jeremiah 12:5)
Why does anyone hire a personal trainer? Think about it. We give someone money to make us to do things we don’t want to do. We literally pay someone to put us in pain, make us sweat, and smack our hands away from chocolate chip cookies. Why?
There are a couple of reasons.
- We need accountability.
A big part of having a personal trainer is simply having someone else there to make sure you show up and to call you out when you don’t.
- We need a standard.
We need someone else in our lives to push us further than we are comfortable going because we know the result will be worth it. If we were working out on our own, we might stop when it hurts or when we get tired. But a trainer knows that we can usually do more than we think we can, and will push us to do so.
- We need a coach.
Especially when we are first starting out exercising, it’s difficult to even know where to start or what to do? Should I run three miles immediately, or should I work up to it? Should I bench-press and exercise my legs on the same day or alternate days? How many repetitions should I do? Etc. We need a coach to show us what to do.
God is our personal trainer. He puts you into situations that are hard, frustrating, and even at times discouraging, not because he enjoys seeing you suffer, but because he wants to see you persevere—to win!
When we face trials it’s natural, and even right, to pray that God would rescue us from them. Sometimes God will answer that prayer with an emphatic and miraculous, “Yes!” and it’s wonderful when he does.
Other times, God may answer with “No” or “Not yet.” These are not inferior answers, and they do not mean you lack faith. God’s answer may be “no” because you are in training. He is saying to you, like he said to Jeremiah, “If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses?”
God told Paul the same thing in 2 Corinthians 12:7-9: “A thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me… Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’”
When we face difficult, we should pray earnestly and faithful that God would rescue us from it (he is our Savior, after all). But we should not become discouraged when he chooses not to do so, because these are the times that he wants you to learn to trust him, to persevere and to grow.
In every trial you face, remember, God is teaching you to fight.
Kenneth Reid is a Christian, husband, dad, blogger and song writer from Tyler, TX. He works at Somachurch as the office administrator. Follow his blog at kennetheugene.com.
Photo by Solal Ohayon on Unsplash