Have you or someone you know ever considered becoming a doctor, whether it be in medicine, dentistry, teaching or some other field of study? What is one thing all of these disciplines have in common? Each one requires an enormous amount of time and energy in school learning, growing and being trained to become an expert in the desired vocation. Those who have completed this journey have invested eight to 12 years or more in preparation – now that is serious dedication!
In the same way, God prepares us for service in His kingdom through extensive training. He takes us through trials of various kinds over a period of time to stretch us and cause us to be dependent on Him instead of on our own strength. This process is very painful, but a necessary requirement in order for God to use us the way He desires. The Bible says, “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing (James 1:2-4 NLT).
In other words, trials help prepare us for our God-given destinies. What is even better is that God doesn’t let us go through this process alone. He is with us and will teach us along the way, too.
The Holy Spirit aids and empowers us for the journey God has called each of us to walk. The Bible says, “But the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will cause you to recall (will remind you of, bring to your remembrance) everything I have told you” (John 14:26 AMP). The Holy Spirit dwells within eachof us, if we are Christians, to give counsel and teach us the principles and lessons we need to grow up spiritually.
Take King David for example. God had already predetermined that He would promote David from being a shepherd boy to king of His people, but first, He had to develop His chosen servant. So what did God do? He took David through trials and difficulties. Do you remember the story of David and Goliath? Well, before that historical and life changing fight ever took place, God taught him to protect his father’s sheep against wild animals. David even had to fight and kill a lion and a bear! The Bible records, “But David persisted. ‘I have been taking care of my father’s sheep and goats,’ he said. ‘When a lion or a bear comes to steal a lamb from the flock, I go after it with a club and rescue the lamb from its mouth. If the animal turns on me, I catch it by the jaw and club it to death. I have done this to both lions and bears, and I’ll do it to this pagan Philistine, too, for he has defied the armies of the living God! The Lord who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue me from this Philistine’”(1 Samuel 17:34-37a NLT). God was training David and arming him with confidence to face greater challenges in his future, victoriously.Notice, David gave the credit to God in this passage and not in his own ability. Trials teach us to be God dependent, not self-reliant!
God was still not done training His young “king in the making.” After David smote Goliath, he was instantly catapulted into fame and recognized as a mighty warrior. King Saul, the current king of Israel, even brought David into his court to serve him. However, over time, Saul became jealous of David and tried to kill him. He became so obsessed with having David destroyed that he chased him relentlessly with his army for many years! Can you imagine being hunted by the best warriors and top government officials of your own country? Talk about being in a trial! Yet, despite all this, God was with David and eventually brought to pass the very promise He made to him – the promise of making him king over His people.
Do you feel like you have been put on a shelf, so to speak – as if you have been forgotten about? Don’t get discouraged! King David was a shepherd boy tending sheep before God raised him up to shepherd His people. God is working behind the scenes preparing you for your destiny as well! He has tailor-made trials for you to walk through so that you are well prepared for your future. Don’t be surprised that you are facing challenges and obstacles that seem bigger than life! God is with you and is teaching you to be dependent on Him. He is your ultimate teacher and counselor in the midst of the battle! Just as a doctor has to go through rigorous schooling, so you must go through “schooling” to be what God wants you to be. Lean on God; trust Him. He is preparing you for the days ahead – days of greatness!
Cory can be reached at [email protected]. or visti www.corynickols.com/