You know how we are. The New Year comes in, and many of us are determined to get in shape this year. We even went and got a gym membership. However, it seems around the second or third month into our “program,” we start to lose steam. We started out going to the gym three times a week. Then once per week. Then once a month. Now, we don’t go at all, but we’ve already signed the contract, and we’re stuck. Don’t you hate that?
Let’s face it. Exercise is not fun. It takes discipline, and it’s not easy. But those who would succeed at maintaining an exercise regiment must have a proper focus. Those who do not continue to do what they know they should in order to keep their bodies fit and toned are focusing on the unpleasant aspects of exercise. Those who succeed are focusing on results they want to enjoy. They want to enjoy looking good and feeling great. They want to enjoy basking in the feeling that comes when people tell them how good they look. They want to enjoy looking in the mirror and seeing progress.
In the same way, trials are not as difficult to bear if you focus on the right thing. If you focus on the process you are going through in the moment, you will have a bad attitude and want to quit. But if you focus on the results that are being produced, namely faith, patience, endurance, strength, peace, and joy, then you will want to continue. You will run on to see what the end will be.
The following scriptures exemplify the truths that suffering produces results, and your focus can determine your attitude:
1) I Peter 5:10 – “…After that ye have suffered a while, will make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.” This means that suffering endured through trials will produce positive results.
2) Hebrews 12:2 – Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame….” Jesus focused on the results being produced, our salvation, as a means to endure the agony of the cross.
3) James 1:2-4 – “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire wanting nothing.” Thus, focusing on what you know will enable you to be joyful as you are going through a trial.
So you see, God has a purpose for trials, and proper focus will help you to get through them with a good attitude.
If you are in a hard trial today, these are some things that you can do to make the situation more bearable:
1) Immerse yourself in the Word via reading the Bible, listening to CD’s, watching Christian TV, and reading good spiritual books.
2) Spend time in fellowship with God by engaging in praise and worship on a daily basis.
3) Meditate on the Word, and speak it out of your mouth often.
4) Make sure your own self talk is positive and encouraging and lines
up with God’s Word.
Remember, according to Romans 8:28, trials will always work to your advantage. However, the less you believe it, the more grievous your trials will seem. The more you focus on the process versus the product, the more grievous your trials will seem. So the next time you encounter a hard trial, don’t run out of God’s Gym when your personal trainer, the Holy Spirit pushes you to your limit. If you stay and stick with the program, you are going to look in the mirror of the Word and love the results.
What is your method for dealing with intense trials? Please leave a comment below.
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