Yesterday at Church180 we kicked off a study through the letter of James. We started with 1:1-12:
James writes, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (1:2-4)
OK, stick with me here…
I love to work out. It is a “life-giver” for me. Recently I was talking with the gym owner, Rob from Brutal Iron Gym, and asking him how to grow muscle. He said, “You’ve got to lift heavy weight.”
I went home and grabbed Arnold Schwarzenegger’s book, “The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding“, to see what he had to say.
“Your muscles will grow only when they are subjected to an overload. They will not respond to anything less.
Muscles will not grow bigger or stronger unless you force them to. Making your muscles contract against a level of resistance they are not used to will eventually cause them to adapt and grow stronger.
But once they have adapted sufficiently, this progress will stop. When this happens, the only way to make your muscles continue to grow is by further increasing the amount of overload to which you subject them.” Arnold Schwarzenegger (The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding, pg. 136)
WHOA! The ONLY way muscles will grow is if they are stressed out… overloaded… taken beyond the max!
And once they get used to that level of resistance/stress they will need a higher level of stress if they are to keep growing!
Guess what?! That’s exactly what James says is necessary for our faith to grow! Stress! Resistance! Testing! Overload!
He counsels us to “count it pure joy” when the stress is on because your faith, just like your muscles, grows the strongest when the stress is the greatest!
Are you stressed? Are you overloaded? “Count it pure joy” because you are getting ready to see some new faith muscles… if you hang in there!
I am praying for you today that you will be tenacious and determined as you go through your testing! Celebrate the overload!
P.S. If you need some help hanging in there, check out what St. James says to do (click here)!