There is a myth in Christianity that I often hear people say:
“God will not put more on me than I can bear.”
Let me debunk that myth right now. In 2 Corinthians, Paul wrote that we are “burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life” (1:8).
If ever there was a painful situation, Paul was in it. Paul hadn’t done anything to cause it. In fact, he had followed God’s leading straight into a place of despair. If you share similar feelings today, you are in good company.
God sometimes allows situations to be painful for His greater purpose. He wants you to learn the power that comes from living a life that depends on Him. If you can learn and apply that truth throughout all of your life, you will be able to accomplish all that God has for you to do.
In order to take Paul deeper in faith, God put him in a situation that his resume, abilities and connections could not change. Why? So that Paul would learn to trust God at a deeper level. No amount of money in your bank account can buy your way out of it. You can’t soothe your way out of it by drinking, eating or taking drugs. You can’t educate your way out of it, or adrenaline-rush your way out of it. Because when each of those momentary pleasures have subsided, you’ll still find it there gnawing at you like an unwelcome nudge in your back over and over again.
Keep in mind that it is not the trial, the offense nor the pain itself that takes you to your point of growth. The trial without the accompanying trust doesn’t take you to the point of spiritual maturity that God was trying to take you. It is only when you trust in God in the midst of the pain and align your heart, actions and thoughts under His Word and truths that you discover the deeper meaning behind it.
Just like a caterpillar must struggle to exit a cocoon once it has transformed into a butterfly, spiritual maturity and growth comes as a result of persevering within pain. It is there where our spiritual muscles become strong enough to live the life of faith that God has called each one of us to as believers in Jesus Christ.