Living a life of fullness and abundance does not exclude us from having to navigate challenging circumstances. However…

God excels in using the challenges we face to accelerate our development.

He is too kind to send us out in the world without preparation. (Which is what both the feeding of the 5,000 and the storm on the lake opportunities were about!)

“Training for reigning” is a phrase I often use for these times. God’s inheritance is rich, full and abundant, but there is a process required to expand our capacity to receive it and live successfully with it.

So much of my “training” has been in the challenges of life.

Too much month, not enough money? You’re learning how to depend on the Lord.

When adversarial people surrounded me, I was learning how not to return like for like. I was learning to trust God and perceive, think and speak about people with the same graciousness that He would.

Difficulties are often the place where He (and we) find just how much we’ve cooperated with the training that our everyday obstacles provide. Have we learned our lessons, or will be need to repeat them? God is happy to give us endless opportunities to learn because most of all, the process is designed to make us more like Him.

Every challenge is an invitation to prepare for the fullness of our inheritance in Him.

Circumstances stretch us beyond our current limitations and expand our capacity to perceive and think more like Jesus.

Challenges allow us to press beyond the boundaries of reason, into a higher truth. Paul wrote about it in Philippians 3:12-14:

Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

When we understand that, we stop looking for rescue and look for who God wants to be for us here. If we don’t see Him initially, we grow confident that we’ll see Him eventually. We cease to look for a way out and begin to discern where He’s located the next goal line and press towards it—using all the training and preparation He’s provided.

Why ever settle for the simple resolution of a problem at the expense of missing the training for reigning it holds? Not to mention, the best gift of all: knowing more of who Jesus is for us in the challenge and becoming more like Him along the way.

PS) In the midst of all life’s challenges and circumstance, spending time with the Lord is the best way to stay on top of your learning in becoming Christlike. If you are interested in adding to your devotional time with the Lord, I think you will really enjoy The Soaking Collection on sale at Brilliant Book House. Click here to learn more!