The Process To The Promise
In order to receive God's promise, we have go through the process that leads to it! The New Living Translation of 1 Peter 1:6-7 states the following: “So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.” We must learn to embrace the process that leads to what he promised. Some may ask, why do we have to go through a ugly season to receive a beautiful blessing? Some may question God for breaking them down just to build them back up. Why does God make us take the bus when he can drive us to our next destination? He does this to assure that we are ready for what he's promised us. Our faith during a difficult season is the best way to demonstrate our faith. It's easy to be faithful riding first class to our next destination, but do we possess the same faithfulness during a five hundred mile walk to our next blessing? Our method of transportation shouldn't affect our confidence in God or what he's planned for us!
After reading 1 Peter 1: 6-7, one part really stuck out to me: "These trials will show that your faith is genuine" Two synonyms of the word genuine are true and authentic. Genuine faith shouldn't be based off of someone's attitude and faithfulness during a good season. True and authentic faith will be shown during a difficult season or journey. It's easy to be faithful when you're receiving everything God has promised you, but are you just as faithful during the process that leads to it? A person with genuine faith does their favorite dance in every season. Whether it's the coldest day of the year or a day a filled with sunshine, I'm still dancing and rejoicing! Having genuine faith is praising God, despite the season we're in. If God isn't intimidated by our circumstances, why should we be afraid of them? Embracing the process shows the amount of faith we have in him. Despite the trials we face, our faith tells us not to worry because everything is a part of his plan. As The Message translation of Romans 8: 28 states: "That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.” To expand on this further, God's plan demonstrates that he has genuine faith in us. You may ask why am I going through this? This is because God KNOWS YOU ARE STRONG ENOUGH TO HANDLE IT! God wouldn't assign graduate level work to an undergraduate student or a person who doesn't possess the ability to complete the assignment. The more you go through, the more God believes in you! This is the reason we need to have genuine faith in God as well as ourselves!
Product of The Process
Strength is never developed by going through or doing something easy. I remember the rehabilitation process I went through after tearing the patellar tendon in my left knee. My rehabilitation program consisted of various exercises to rebuild the strength of the muscles surrounding my patellar tendon. There wasn't anything easy about this process. From a mental standpoint, I had to develop the courage to complete the required exercises without fear. After having surgery, I experienced pain walking and bending my left leg. So the thought of completing a leg press or a squat gave me an uncomfortable feeling. This is where I developed a great deal of faith. I knew my left leg alone wasn't enough to complete a leg press, but I knew I could do all things through the one who strengthens me. I also realized God would supply in any area that I lacked. Not only did my left leg become stronger during this process, my faith did as well. The most important part of our journey isn't the promise, it's the process. This is where we build the necessary faith and strength to obtain and also maintain the promise! God could give us a free pass, and allow us to skip the process but what do we really gain from that? How much substance and value would a college degree have if we never wrote a paper or attended a class? Can we really see how strong we are if our strength is never tested? As Friedrich Nietzsche, a German philosopher once said "That which does not kill us, makes us stronger." If the process didn't take you out, it made you stronger! You may be wounded and fatigued, but you are a child of God with enhanced faith and spiritual strength!