Archives For hardship

Growth No One Wants

December 6, 2014

We all want growth in our Christian walks.

We read books, attend seminars, join support groups, and lift up change-oriented prayers as a large percentage of our requests to God.

But, it seems there is a type of growth none of us aspire to gain.

In fact, if you are like me, we seek to avoid it.

Romans 5:3-4 says, “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,”

Paul links suffering and endurance to character growth.

I doubt we will see a touring seminar or conference based on this premise in the future.

“Come to the Exponential Growth Seminar! We will make your life miserable, inflicting all kinds of hardship and difficulty on you for the purpose of sparking change! Register now for the early bird discount!”

Hardship: The Great Teacher

February 2, 2012

As an American living abroad, I watch my nation from afar and see many issues facing it. People are concerned about the economy and jobs. Negative politics dominate the headlines. It seems like natural disasters keep rolling through. 

When I began in missions 20 years ago, Americans were known as hopeful and overcoming. This seems to be changing. We now seem to be negative and cynical proclaimers of doom and gloom.

I recently have had a few disappointments which left me feeling as if my hope was deferred. Walking through this journey, I’ve been considering how grace impacts our everyday life, especially in difficulties.

When I see the Biblical authors speaking about grace during trials, it was not something they learned in a classroom or a textbook. It came from facing much more than we have.