For you know that when our faith is tested it stirs up power within you to endure all things. And then as your endurance grows even stronger it will release perfection into every part of your being until there is nothing missing and nothing lacking.
Courage comes with a test. God’s power within us is a treasure to be explored through real life experiences. Easy life requires no courage. The Apostle Paul’s defining moments came through testing. Packaged in his calling were constant tests from which he built endurance. Every win in his life released more and more of God’s power. That is why he wrote confidently the following:
We are like common clay jars that carry this glorious treasure within, so that the extraordinary overflow of power will be seen as God’s, not ours. Though we experience every kind of pressure, we’re not crushed. At times we don’t know what to do, but quitting is not an option. We are persecuted by others, but God has not forsaken us. We may be knocked down, but not out. We continually share in the death of Jesus in our own bodies so that the resurrection life of Jesus will be revealed through our humanity.II Corinthians 4:7-10
In scattered times, the Holy Spirit jumps on every opportunity to make character and course corrections. His purpose is to reorient us. God wants to tweak our character. He wants us to see teachable moments as treasures in unfamiliar times. Old ways of seeing the changes and challenges life throws at us have to be reviewed. They need to be updated and made relevant for the purposes of God. We have to live ready to live now. Yesterday is gone. God takes advantage of the challenges that trying times cause, to refocus and stretch us!
Paul lived in pursuit of more of God. He built his endurance and capacity to learn in the stretch.
I admit that I haven’t yet acquired the absolute fullness that I’m pursuing, but I run with passion into his abundance so that I may reach the purpose that Jesus Christ has called me to fulfill and wants me to discover. I don’t depend on my own strength to accomplish this, however, I do have one compelling focus: I forget all the past as I fasten my heart to the future instead. I run straight for the divine invitation of reaching that Heavenly goal and gaining the victory-prize through the anointing of Jesus.Philippians 3:12-14
It matters where we daily fasten our hearts. Paul had to let go of his murderous past. He couldn’t change his past. He pushed himself forward by fastening his heart to the expectations God had for his life’s future.
When times of testing come, remember that when our hearts are fastened to Him, power is stirred within us. When we win a battle, spiritual or otherwise, victory stirs up confidence and power. Overcomers overcome! They endure to see invaluable opportunities even in the fog of difficulties. They are courageous and confident in their endurance and pursuit of God.
How do you keep yourself stirred up? How do you keep your heart attached to God’s Word.