Our sermon on Sunday was especially insightful. The preacher spoke from Philippians 3:12-16, when Paul encourages fellow believers to strain towards the prize of Christ.
“Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on towards the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (3:13-14, ESV). I’m sure that many Christians are familiar with this exercise imagery. That’s entirely appropriate. Being open to the words of the LORD, Paul fittingly described the struggle that Christians face, a struggle that is rewarded with ultimate “fitness” for the kingdom.
I’d like to take this thought up a notch.
Our elder also spoke about an often forgotten aspect of exercise: pain.
How do we know that exercise is working? How do we know that our muscles are stronger, our fat trimmer? The tell-tell signs of a dull throb after a successful session at the gym. Our bodies grow through the pain and discomfort to be stronger than before.
Let that sink in.
The next time you encounter “trials of various kinds”, praise the LORD that your workout is, well, working! (James 1:2 ESV).