1 Corinthians 9:24-26

The Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold From those who walk uprightly. Psalm 84:11

Many people make a tremendous mistake by assuming that trial and difficulty are results of something they have done wrong. They have forgotten Paul’s analogy of the athlete who must prepare himself mentally and physically to compete and win the prize. Even in Paul’s day, an athletic competition was a big event. The only way an athlete became stronger was through training, and that meant having his strength tested.

Training to win is not a light and easy task. It requires hard work, discipline, and the ability to withstand all kinds of pressure. Paul asked, “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. And everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim” (1 Corinthians 9:24-26 NASB).

Trials are God’s tools to test your faith in His ability. When you fail to learn a certain spiritual principle, don’t be surprised if He allows another trial to arise. He is teaching you how to trust in His strength and not your own. Learning how to handle the valley of life readies you for the many blessings God has prepared for you.

Lord, thank You that every trial I experience leads to a blessing. Use the valleys of my life to prepare me for the blessings You have planned for me.

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