St. Paul tells the Early Christians in the seaport city of Corinth, “No trial has come to you but what is human. God is faithful and will not let you be tried beyond your strength; but with the trial he will also provide you a way out, so that you may be able to bear it (1 Corinthians 10:13).” Since Adam and Eve, we have had trials and challenges in life. Can’t God, the all-powerful Creator of the Universe, just make them never happen in the first place? After all, Paul just said He will provide us a way out.
God’s purpose for our daily trials is to help us understand we cannot grow spiritually if we stay within our “safe zone”. He uses our challenges, misfortunes, struggles, persecutions, and our sufferings to provide conditions that are right for us to grow into spiritual maturity. Not by hardening our hearts. But, opening our hearts to God so we learn our desires are only fulfilled when we totally surrender ourselves to Him. Not finding happiness in a culture of self-satisfaction and lustfor more, but living a virtuous life as a disciple of Jesus.
St Paul provides us with the recipe for living a virtuous life so we can persevere in our trials. Paul says we are to pursue rightness, devotion, faith, love, patience, and gentleness in everything we do. He tells us to “compete well for the faith” and keep the commandments without stain, criticism, or blame (1 Timothy 6:11-14). Doing so helps us avoid the trap of letting our trials become our downfall, and allows us to find “a way out” when we lose hope in the situation we are in. By living a life of virtue and competing well for the faith, our struggles equip us to grow spiritually and become Jesus to others in a world that desperately needs Him. When we can do that, our trials achieve God’s purposes for our good and the good of His Creation.
May we pray this week to seek the true strength that lies in self-surrendering love to find the way out of our trials. May we become true disciples of Jesus in every trial and a true source of strength to one another.