Physical strength is increased by exercise and pushing our muscles to their limits. Over time we will get stronger and be able to handle heavier weights. It is the same with spiritual strength. Our faith has to be pushed to it’s limits also, so that we can gain greater faith that enables us to trust God through more trials. Our faith must be exercised in order to grow.
1 Peter 5:10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
The strength that we gain through our trials is not just for our own edification though. The world around us is watching us to see if our God is real.
Look at it kind of like a weight lifting event. The crowd of people that are watching are amazed at the strength of the participants. They lift massive amounts of weight as their entire bodies shake under the load as they push themselves beyond their normal capacity to lift. However, this strength was not gained over night, it took hours of training and practice to get to the point of safely lifting huge amounts of weight.
The people that are watching us as we go through periods of having our faith put to the test are many time amazed at the strength we exhibit to deal with hard circumstances. This type of faith doesn’t happen over night either. The Lord gives us the strength to face each trial as they come. When we have been able to trust the Lord through each trial, we gain more faith to trust Him through the next trial. People watch us in awe wondering how we can have such faith in the midst of our trials. They may even say, “I could never do that.” Truth is, we are not living in our own strength, otherwise we could never survive the trial. When people say that they couldn’t handle our trials, what they are saying is, “Lord, I don’t want to go through this.” God’s strength and grace is available to everyone that faces trials. No matter what they are.
The strength the Lord gives us in our trials is to be on display for others to see. Yes, we will get stronger as time goes on, but others may learn that they can trust in the same God that we do. His strength, for His glory!
Luke 22:31-32 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.