We want to be spiritually grown, but we don't like growing because growing hurts.
Growing can be painful. For example, some children have "growing pains" because of their rapid growth.
This can also be true spiritually. Specifically, God may stretch you by putting uncomfortable circumstances in your life. Why? He uses the hard times to stretch your faith, your patience, and your love. This stretching is what causes growth: "For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all" (2 Corinthians 4:17).
In other words, God uses the difficult circumstances in your life to cause you to grow closer to Him. If you look back over your life, you'll probably notice that the times you grew the most spiritually were often the times that were the most difficult.
If, however, you fight against the hard circumstances in your life, then you will never fully grow up. So, instead of fighting against life, take the advice of James 1:2-4: "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."
Decide to press on and go through so that your faith may grow. Go through the hard times in life trusting God, and then you will grow to be "mature and complete, not lacking anything."
Despite being assured affliction and suffering, Christ-followers can be joyful nonetheless.
We can be joyful not by creating a bubbly-faced facade of happiness to hide reality but rather by confidently knowing that, in the face of immense sin and suffering, we are secure in Christ. Why fear and be saddened by those who can only kill the body when you're protected by Him who can keep you from hell (Luke 12:4-7)? Or, to put it positively, rejoice that you have received the Holy Spirit, who guarantees your eternal salvation—and thus, your eternal joy (2 Corinthians 1:21-22).
The faith that justifies is the very same faith that satisfies. Saving faith satisfies us by weaning us from the short-lived satisfaction of sin to ultimate satisfaction in Christ.
Thus, despite the fact that suffering will come even—or, perhaps, especially—to us who profess faith in Christ, we can have great joy not because we are spared affliction but because we are completely satisfied in Christ.
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