Working Out/Exercise

by James Washington
Special to the NNPA from the Houston Forward Times

There is a perspective prevalent in our faith that our suffering is an integral part of God’s plan to ready us for the struggle of spreading the good news of Jesus Christ. Depending on your point of view you might think that to be a fact of faith. I just don’t believe it’s always true. However, I do believe suffering in some ways is a prerequisite for strengthening one’s spiritual muscle. Like Jesus in the desert, you do have to get ready for what’s in store for you travelling down God’s path. For me it’s always been hard to respect the opinion of someone who has led the so called “charmed life” or, someone who was born with the proverbial silver spoon in a cavity free mouth. It’s hard, if not impossible (for me), to listen to someone talk with certainty about things they’ve never seen or places they’ve never been. My belief is that God teaches in a manner few of us will ever truly understand. I believe that when He chooses you, when it’s your time, He has a unique way of communicating who’s really in charge. And, if the truth be told, only He is. Experience has taught me that when God is talking to you, eventually you come to know it. Your recognition of this can come with a price, if you get my meaning.

Take notes on this. “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but (rather) painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11. As far as I’m concerned, we’re all in training, believe it or not, to fight in God’s war. Whether being forged in a fiery furnace or stuck in a tailspin of perceived despair and hopelessness, each one of us is being battle tested in anticipation that one day, we will be called to arms. This struggle, these experiences, they bring about wisdom; a spiritual wisdom from a spiritual perspective that I believe we are commanded to share. It’s called testimony! Otherwise, God keeps you in a perpetual classroom where life constantly gives you a new place to go to the bathroom. You haven’t learned anything, so life keeps kicking your…well, you get the picture. When you finally realize the one trying to tell you something is God, then a wondrous thing begins to happen. You listen more intently and learn more eagerly. Like the child who discovers walking leads to the joy of running, or the baby who discovers his own hand, the possibilities seem endless. The mind says ‘tell me more.’ The spirit says ‘thank you Jesus.’ At that very moment, it my belief that God let’s us know we’re able to withstand, overcome, rise above and win the battle of carrying the message of salvation. Christ is savior. At that moment, we also move from being in the classroom to being on the battlefield where Satan keeps score. You remember those days back in school when you actually studied and were prepared for the test? Confidence oozed from you. When God has been the lesson planner, the study partner, the instructor, it doesn’t matter how much Satan wants it to be a Net Flix Night. “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.” James 1:12.

Our job then is to recognize and represent; recognize the hell we think we’re going through has heaven as its reward. Your struggles are not without purpose. The most important message of the day is to understand who (Jesus) has suffered the most and why. “It is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom.” Luke 12:32. Remember it’s already yours.

May God bless and keep you always,


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.