Spiritual Strength Training

Spiritual training for life's next season can be challenging. But stay with it!

Just about every January, the health clubs and fitness centers suddenly get very full don’t they?  People make New Year’s resolutions to lose weight and get in shape and so they sign up for the latest fitness craze.  A few years ago it was Kick Boxing.  This year it’s Cross Fit and Kettle Bells.

And what happens when you finally do put it in gear and exercise?  When you are in training, you don’t see overnight results, do you?  It may take weeks, months, or longer to get that “Body By Jake”  right?

But you endure it because you know that hard training and discipline produces great results.

There is someone I’ve been following on Facebook who started a new exercise regimen at the first of the year.  Yesterday her status noted that it’s been tough, but in January she lost 13 pounds.  Good for her!

Discipline.  Training.  We all know it’s good for us, but very few of us endure it… much less endure it with joy.

The Bible says that suffering and trials — like discipline and training — are all are part of God’s plan to make us stronger, to prepare us for what is ahead.

I love what Peter writes.

What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole.

I know how great this makes you feel, even though you have to put up with every kind of aggravation in the meantime. Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine. When Jesus wraps this all up, it’s your faith, not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of his victory.

You never saw him, yet you love him. You still don’t see him, yet you trust him—with laughter and singing. Because you kept on believing, you’ll get what you’re looking forward to: total salvation.   (1 Peter 1:3-9, The Message)

Do you want total salvation?  Keep on believing.  Even in those times when believing may be tough.  You are being trained — just like an athlete for the Olympics or the Super Bowl.  Don’t just merely endure it.  Lean into the strength of the Holy Spirit day by day.  Let His strength be your strength.

Know that God is in it, so you can actually enjoy it. For before long, you will be spiritually fit.  Disciplined.  Strong.  Trained for the next season of your life.

© 2012. Rich Ronald.

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