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. James 1:2-4
Have you ever been at the point in your life when you thought, “I can’t handle one more thing?” It’s been that kind of a year for me and my family. But James tells us that when you face adversity with God, spiritual growth occurs (my interpretation of James 1:2-4).
Our life with Christ can’t always be a mountaintop experience. To grow spiritually, we must spend time walking with the Lord. And that walk may take us through a valley, or even many valleys. How we react when we are in the valley can show our spiritual maturity. Do we use our time in the valley to walk closer with God, or do we try to get off the path we are on and take matters into our own hands? We should remember that when we are in the valley, we are protected by the mountaintops.
Let God order your steps. In Psalm 119:113 the psalmist prays, “Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me.” God knows better than we do. If we follow Him, through the mountaintop, and the valley, and all the plateaus in-between, we will arrive at the destination He set for us. It’s in the journey that we grow the most.
“In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:6-9