God is mysterious. There is no doubt about that. Perhaps one of the most mysterious aspects about God is the mystery of why God puts His children through trials. Everyone goes through trying times in their lives. But as Christians we are given a unique opportunity through our trials – and that opportunity is to become more like Christ.
In James 1:2-4 James says “My brothers and sisters, consider it nothing but joy when you fall into all sorts of trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect effect, so that you will be perfect and complete, not deficient in anything.” This perfect effect James is talking about here is the becoming more like Christ, who is in fact perfect in every aspect.
THE LIFE OF A FARMER
Let’s look at farming for a minute here. In farming the goal is to produce a crop that is the best. But in the process of farming, the farmer has to painstakingly endure many things, such as waking up at the crack of dawn every day of his life, learning the seasons to ensure the right stages of farming are executed at the perfect time, cultivating and plowing the ground (usually in the heat of summer) so that their crops have rich and nutritious soil to grow from, then they have to constantly tend to their crops ensuring weeds, and animals do not destroy them, they have to water them daily and they have to make judgement calls on when the crop is just right to be harvested. The fruit of their labor is amazing though, they get to their goal, a crop that is plentiful, and just the way it was meant to be.
THE LIFE OF A CHRISTIAN
The process of farming is very similar to the life of Christians. The goal is to be as close to Jesus as humanly possible. And, just like the farmer, we too must painstakingly endure many trials in life, such as losing our jobs, being relentlessly ridiculed by our friends for our faith, avoiding temptations of our old life, searching for a spouse who shares our faith, the list goes on and on. And honestly it is impossible to go through these trials and meet our goal on our own strength. In Psalm 18:32 we learn “The one true God gives me strength; he removes the obstacles in my way.” Only through God’s strength can we overcome the trials He has set before us. Only through Him will we meet the goal set before us.
THE FRUIT OF OUR LABOR
And just like farming, the fruit of our labor will be amazing. The difference between the process of farming and the process of walking with Jesus is the end result. While crops produced by the labor of the farmer is certainly a miracle in itself, it is not perfect. In the book of Revelation, we get just a glimpse of what perfection awaits the faithful, and see for yourself, He is worth it.