Have you ever had that moment whenever life just seems to get so frustrating and exhausting that all you can say is “I’m done”? I feel like that was my life this past year. It seemed like after every frustrating situation there would come another. There was never any time to breathe in between. From having to move home to having to turn down the chance to go to another school, it just seemed like I could not catch a break.
Why shouldn’t my response be “I’m done”? That should be how we react, right? When life hits us hard and out of nowhere, all we want is a way out or at least a break from it. Why do we want to quit when life gets hard? Well, it’s not necessarily we want to quit but that instead we want to move on to what is next because we want the rewards of that season and the exit of the pain of the current season. I’m here to tell you that whenever you tell yourself that you’re done with the current season, you’ll never actually be satisfied in where you are. Every season of life is going to come with its hindering challenges, that’s just a given. If we focus on trying to exit the current season because of its trials, it’s because we believe there won’t be any trials in the next.
What if we focused on the challenges of the current season and the rewards it can bring? In James 1, he talks about these challenges in life and in verses 2 and 3 it says “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.” When we have different trials in life, we are rewarded both joy and steadfastness, or perseverance. Each trial we go through God means to strengthen us for the next. It says in Romans 5 that “we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope” (3-4). And for those who are children of God, we have the opportunity to be molded by God to become a character of hope inspired by the original model of hope in Jesus. We can only become that character if we persevere.
Paul continues in Romans 8 claiming that those who are in Christ are considered “heirs of God.” And as heirs, he also considers in verse 18 that the sufferings are not worth comparing with Christ’s glory.
The trials and suffering we go through aren’t meant to end us or cause us to fail, but to be fastened by the arms of grace and glory. So my challenge for you all, whether you are an heir or not, is to consider hardships of all kinds as a chance to be rewarded with perseverance for the next. For when life hits you hard, you’ll be able to stand strong and say “I’m not done.”