Struggle in Growth Advances the Gospel

While no one can ever measure up to Christ, we're gifted families in the faith who we lean on in times of struggle. People whose authentic growth in Christ encourages our journey are a true gift. God has given me many spiritual parents and siblings over the years (along with faithful parents and siblings- I guess He knew I needed it more than most :D). This concept of family has been on my heart because we all need to remember the roles God has given us to both be discipled and be the one discipling. When someone in our family hurts, we all understand we have different gifts to offer to encourage, guide and lift that person up. But even in these times, we are also commanded to keep the main thing at the center which makes it all worth it: Keep advancing the Gospel.

I've been gifted many times to come alongside and nurture, encourage and walk alongside people in a variety of struggles. I consider this an honor. I’ve also been gifted many people who have done this for me.

Lately, my husband and I have been going through a challenging but interesting season. In spite of the highs and lows, I can already see many reasons for this and we've already seen sweet fruit from it that has surprised us. But this verse speaks volumes to me about one main reason any of us experience challenging seasons: It serves to advance the gospel.

When we face trials (as we inevitably will, James reminds us) we’re commanded to consider it a joy. Because we supposed to like the pain? No.

We rejoice because we can trust God to grow us in these seasons. It also gives us an opportunity to speak God’s rich faithfulness over those we disciple.

Think about it, when we are looking for specific advice, we aren’t going to ask someone who has no experience in that area, are we? While we are unlikely to ask the person who didn't come out the other side with any wisdom, we're probably also unlikely to ask the person who always seems to have it all together and never shares struggles. No, when we want solid advice, we seek the people who weathered the storms of the issue at hand with grace, humility and vulnerability and came out stronger.

Whatever we find ourselves facing this week, month or year, let's take some time to think about who we can encourage this week even in the struggle you face. Let's remember to be like Paul and recognize that authentically growing in Christ’s grace through the struggles we face serves to advance the gospel.

If you're joining along with us in this week's memory verse, happy memorizing!

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