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Erica Galindo
Celebrating Food, Faith and Family
Last edited on: August 4, 2015.

Jesus had joy in His sufferings because He knew the end result was worth the agony.

In troubles, hardships and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots;

in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; in purity, understanding,

patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love.

– 2 Corinthians 6:4-6

Because our college soccer season was in the fall, summer was the time to focus on conditioning. I’ll admit that I often lost sleep anticipating the fitness tests that would be administered during pre-season. As a goalkeeper, I preferred to dive and make saves, not to do sprinting workouts on the track. At the beginning of the season, practices didn’t involve playing soccer (it was never a good sign when we showed up for practice and our coach didn’t have any soccer balls).

Exercise bicycles set at full resistance, treadmills set with maximum incline to test endurance, and running with required times were all part of the training. I was thrilled to just finish in the middle of the pack. Not to be overly graphic, but I remember throwing up and then continuing the workouts. Pre-season was definitely not that enjoyable, but the results it produced were of great benefit.

Have you ever extended yourself in a rigorous exercise program? If yes, how did it feel? Similar to athletic training, God can increase our capacity to endure trials in life. Jesus had joy in His sufferings because He knew the end result was worth the agony. Our character is usually refined far more in discomfort than in comfort!

What are some of the ways that God helps you and shows you grace during challenges? The apostle Paul was devoted to God but that didn’t mean he faced fewer obstacles. What kind of trial didn’t Paul face as he served God? As you read the book of 2 Corinthians, Paul is very open about his struggles. Each of these painful experiences proved to be a test for his steadfast decision to continue following God. Like the expanding stamina of an athlete in training, God grants you additional endurance through His constant love, encouragement, and presence. Look back through your life, what seemed impossible was accomplished through the strong, sustaining hand of God.


Inspiring?  You might also like How to Handle a Blessing.

Excerpt republished with permission from Rooted in Grace by Jesse Bradley c. 2012.

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