My Apple Watch has arrived. It is time for me to take my activity and exercise to the next level – as if I needed the watch to do that. Anyway, I started thinking of the analogy of lifting weights to build muscle. I was actually educated earlier this year that muscles grow when they rest versus during exertion. But that’s a blog for another day. My thought today comes from the growth that comes from struggle, stress, persecution, failing and the like.
“Wise leaders will give instruction to many, but these teachers will die by fire and sword, or they will be jailed and robbed. During these persecutions, little help will arrive, and many who join them will not be sincere. And some of the wise will fall victim to persecution. In this way, they will be refined and cleansed and made pure until the time of the end, for the appointed time is still to come. (Daniel 11:33-35 NLT)
God’s messenger described a time of trial when even wise believers may stumble. This could mean (1) falling into sin, (2) being fearful and losing faith, (3) mistakenly following wrong teaching, or (4) experiencing severe suffering and martyrdom. If we persevere in our faith, any such experience will only refine us and make us stronger. Are you facing trials? Recognize them as opportunities to strengthen your faith. If we remain steadfast in these experiences, we will be stronger in our faith and closer to God. – Life Application Study Bible