I bought a foam roller last month. It’s not too extravagant; it’s just a large piece of Styrofoam, used to relieve pain and tension in your muscles. When I first received it, I regretted the purchase; my muscles ached so badly while I was using it. But after I concluded my exercises, I noticed that my muscles felt great! Later, I realized that the longer I used the foam roller, the better I felt. Although it hurt me initially, the foam roller eventually helped me.
Interestingly, I had the same attitude toward trials. I used to hate them, for they lasted so long, caused so much pain, and, at times, seemed unbearable. But when the smoke cleared, I noticed that they helped me become more like Christ. Only God can put mountains in our path to build our climbing “muscles.” Only God can put us in the fire to demonstrate His extinguishing power. Although we usually don’t like them, trials make us better. No wonder the psalmist wrote, “My suffering was good for me, for it taught me to pay attention to your decrees” (Psalm 119:71, New Living Translation).
I used to think this scripture was bizarre, “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy” (James 1:2, New Living Translation). Why would anyone be happy about suffering? Now that I see how much better I am, because of what I’ve been through, I understand. If God allowed any trials in your life, and they made you better, rejoice. He always has our best interest in mind!