It is easy to exercise when full of strength and bursting with energy. What is hard is continuing our exercise routine on days when feeling low and lethargic. Top athletes discipline themselves to train on good days and bad days. To succeed in sporting endeavours one cannot be a fair-weather athlete.
It’s easy to be thankful and praise God when our lives are prosperous and full of blessings, but can we continue to praise God when things go bad? Thankfulness in adversity is the true mark of a mature Christian. To praise God in a crisis shows that one is focused on God and His eternal plan – not on present difficulties.
God has made provision for us in ALL circumstances. He has also promised, to those who are focused on Him, not to test them beyond their capabilities (1Cor 10:13). Our afflictions have purpose. It may be to make us stronger in Christ – a time to build spiritual muscle. Or maybe our adversity is designed to be a future witness to others. Christ’s suffering did not benefit him – he endured it purely to benefit us.
Usually, God’s purpose for allowing adversity into our lives is a mystery – it is very hard to exercise ‘praise’ in those circumstances. But if we ever hope to be strong Christians we must discipline ourselves to take eyes off self and set them firmly on God’s eternal goal. When we trust and abide in Him we will find God gives us the energy to go on. Strength will soon follow so we can run the race He has set before us. As a result we will be ‘sincerely’ thankful to Him in all circumstances.
We must constantly remind ourselves, the adversity before us is never as great as the Power behind us. (1 Thessalonians 5:18).