Today’s Scripture: My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. James 1:2-4

There can be no rainbow without a cloud and storm.

He landed on his arm with a thud and screamed in pain as he heard it snap. His fragile, 5th grade body trembled and tears flowed freely. The columnist’s mind drifted back to a childhood accident when he broke his arm. He remembered when his dad explained how his bones would heal to be even stronger than before. True to his word, he was soon back on the playing field. The weeks of painful growth paid off.

As much as we hate pain, growth always follows. Fragile “bones” of relationships will be broken, trust will be shaken, and friends will turn on you, but God often uses these things to make you stronger. Yet if we don’t understand God’s role in our pain, we’ll become very discouraged.

Many of the men God used to write the Bible endured “pressing times.” David, Job, and Paul experienced intense hardships through which God developed their character and transformed them into bold witnesses. He does the same for us. Each trial we pass through makes us stronger.

Your “pressing experience” may be overwhelming job responsibilities. Perhaps you’ve just seen a relationship fall apart, or you’ve been hurt by someone you love.

Bring your trials before God today, and reflect upon His ultimate purpose-to bring you to spiritual maturity. Remember, blessing always follows pressing. You’ll emerge stronger and better equipped to handle the hardships of life.

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.