Achieving mature faith is a process that is not accomplished overnight. In many ways it's like a physical work out. Life is a series of events that require us to build stamina and spiritual muscle. Each time we overcome a challenge or learn a new lesson is like reaching a new level of fitness. However, just because we are more fit than we used to be does not mean that there is not room for continued improvement. It doesn't mean that God won't challenge us to continue to improve, to build our faith so that we can face greater and greater adversity.
Occasionally I find myself facing new trials and becoming slightly resentful. I sometimes wonder, "Haven't I proven myself in this area already? Haven't we been through this, Lord?" However, the Lord seeks to prepare us, not just for the momentary obstacle we are facing, but also for the future. He knows we will continue to to encounter challenges and He does not want us to be under-prepared or to become complacent. Our current adversity is God's way of providing us with protection and skills for the adversity we will face later on. These challenges are not punishment, they are provision.
When I think of challenges to my faith as God's provision, my attitude changes. I find myself grateful for the experience, glad that I can learn to lean more fully on the Lord. I am overwhelmed by the fact that, regardless of the challenge, God has yet to meet my needs, to meet with me, to make known His presence and His love for me. I can rejoice, knowing that God has already overcome any adversity that I might face, and He is ready and waiting to help me overcome as well.
Are you rejoicing in the challenges you face?
1 Peter 1: 6-7
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.