Topic: James 1:2-3
Nobody wakes up on the morning of the Boston Marathon and suddenly decides, Hey, I think I'll run the race today! Long-distance running requires training, a LOT of training. The typical marathon runner spends months preparing for a race. He pulls himself out of bed every day and hits the street. Focusing on his goal, he pushes through physical and mental exhaustion. He watches his diet, gets plenty of sleep, and runs every single day. The goal of all this training is to build endurance. The discipline isn't easy, but it's essential to running a marathon.
The Bible often depicts the Christian life as a race. If this is true, then we can be sure endurance is critical to our success. What builds endurance in our spiritual lives? James 1:2-3 says, "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance."
Endurance is an inner strength that enables us to face any difficulty without quitting. The runner needs endurance to finish the race. So he conditions his body for success, even though it hurts. As believers, we're called to do the exact same thing.
Our "training" comes through trials. As we face different challenges, the Holy Spirit builds us up more and more. This is God's "training camp." If you're facing a hardship today, ask yourself this question: Am I willing to go through this intense workout today in order to win the race tomorrow?