Have you ever thought if you were wasting your spiritual growth? It could be. When things are going smoothly and we seem to be on top of the world, it takes no effort. Things fall into place and we are just having a great time at a great place in our lives. Look what happens to us...nothing! We simply do nothing. Do you find yourself giving thanks upon thanks when things are well? Do you rejoice each and every day in the Lord when things are well? Do you seek the Lord diligently at those times?
One day it happens to us. It might be us personally or a family member and we are hit with something not so pleasant. Anxieties hit us. We find ourselves lost as we aren't sure what to do. Fear grips our hearts. It leads us down a road to speak to anyone who will listen as we feel over-whelmed with the situation. We hope things will improve but worry keeps us penned up. And there we have it. In the good times we do little and when the troubles hit we crumble with little power to help. Spiritual growth is wasted!
Paul spoke: "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." (Rom. 8:28) For those who love, who are dedicated and serve the Lord with all their heart and have His purpose at heart, there is a power extended. "God causes" is a powerful statement to those who are dedicated! When we turn to the wrong source or make a wrong reaction we are wasting God's power toward us. "God causes all things to work together for good" even those times when we have a difficulty with another, pain in our own lives or tribulations that crop up. God is working them for good, our good. That's not something you do but the One you trust knowing what He is doing. His power is directed toward those who love Him and put His purpose first and foremost in our lives. When we fail to look to the Lord and follow through on His word, we begin to waste our spiritual lives. How can we grow unless we listen and follow when we face difficulties?
"And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulations bring about perseverance, and perseverance, proven character; and proven character hope; and hope does not disappoint..." (Rom. 5:3-5a) Exulting in tribulations? When was the last time you did that? What are tribulations for? To sit and fret wondering what will happen next? Tribulations help us persevere, to stay with the Lord under difficult circumstances and keep staying gaining more strength! Where does perseverance take you? Character! Character is where you will be trustworthy, hold to great integrity and continue to be a blessing to others. Character is what brings you to hope! Not a wish but a sure assurance that the Lord will do everything He said. How do we gain such strength? Through difficulties! When we encounter health issues, loss of job, unable to meet needs in our family or simply having trouble with another person, these things bring us to "God causes!" The power source, the help and stability for our lives. In all this, God is helping us arrive at the hope that never disappoints. Even in difficulties God is growing us and bringing to us His richness and His power. Too many times we are are wasting our spiritual lives by heading the wrong direction when encountering these situations. All in all, our circumstances should be fueling our lives to trustingly walk with our Lord, rejoicing in difficulties and let Him cause! The power of God and spiritual growth is right under our noses! Make certain you don't miss it.