We want to live on emotional mountaintops, but the reality is that spiritual fruit does not grow on mountaintops; it grows in the valleys. It grows in times of difficulty.
In Isaiah 43, God said, “For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland” (verse 19 NLT).
It’s in the wasteland, in the hardships, in the difficulties that I often experience God in a way that I don’t experience Him anywhere else.
James wrote, “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing” (James 1:2–4 NLT).
Maybe you’re facing a time of hardship right now. Maybe you’ve had the bottom drop out in life, and you’re asking, “Why is this happening to me? I’m a Christian. I’m walking with Jesus, yet this hardship has befallen me. What have I done to deserve this?”
Every Christian will face trials in life—for their own good. Jesus said, “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 NLT). He didn’t say you might have trials and sorrows; He said you will have them.
And 1 Peter 4:12–13 tells us, “Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering” (NLT).
Spiritual refreshment comes from times of spiritual testing.