James 1:2-4 (NIV)
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. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
It sounds daft to be happy about going through trials and difficult situations, but Paul explained that they help us develop perseverance and maturity. I like how The Message Paraphrase puts it.
James 1:2-4 (Msg)
Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.
It's impossible to see all of the painting when you are standing with your nose up against it. It's not until you take a step back that you can see the whole picture. Life is like that. When you're in the middle of a difficult season, like a global pandemic, lockdown, a serious health condition, family breakdown, it's very hard to see anything else. Sometimes it's not until years later that you can see how that difficulty helped you become a better person.
When I'm in those seasons, I press into Jesus - I read my Bible, pray, praise, spend time with Christian brothers and sisters. It's in those times I can relate to what God told Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:9 My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. It's by the grace of God that I get through.
Just like Winter ends, the seasons of life don't last forever either. I'm a Summer person and sometimes it feels as though Winter is never going to end, but it does. I have to remind myself that Spring is coming and then Summer after it. In the middle of your trials remember that the difficult season you are facing right now won't last forever and that God is helping you through it.
Short and sweet inspirations for Christian teen girls.