You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 2:1

For the peach lover, there is nothing quite like the sweet scent and taste of a ripe peach. However, a peach tree requires a certain number of cold days during the winter to produce quality peaches.

You can advance through your adversities because your afflictions likewise produce spiritual growth. Genuine spiritual fruit is unlikely to fully develop unless you are put into strenuous places. In adversity you grow in grace. Grace, God’s undeserved blessing, is hollow apart from suffering. Its richness, its strength, its nourishment, are released in adversity. Grace helps the weak to stand, the bruised to heal, the barren to blossom. In trouble you learn to “be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.”

You also grow in your knowledge of God. Paul wanted to know God above all. That intimate relationship blossomed in prison cells, not hotel rooms. Adversity drives you into face-to-face dealings with the Father.

You grow, too, in your love for God’s Word. David said, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes” (Psalm 119:71). Spiritual fruit is watered by the tears of adversity.

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