As Frances and I take daily walks in our sub-tropical home city of Mobile, Alabama (USA), our bodies become acclimated to the hot temperatures we experience. The heat doesn't seem as hot, a physical response built into human bodies by their Creator to enable our functioning even in challenging climates. More importantly, the acclimation enhances endurance, allowing us to walk as much in the summer as in other seasons of the year.
"We must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God" (Acts 14:22).
In our walk with the Lord, trouble will always feel like trouble, regardless of how much we experience His gracious working on our behalf during times of pain, loss, and difficulty. However, the longer we know our Heavenly Father and the more we discover His "very present help in trouble," the more likely we are to faithfully endure during seasons of challenge (Psalm 46:1). We become spiritually acclimated. "Tribulation worketh patience, and patience, experience, and experience, hope" (Romans 5:3-4). Battle tested believers should be far more equipped for "the good fight of faith" than younger Christians just embarking on their journey into the challenges of life wherein we increasingly discover our Lord's faithfulness (I Timothy 6:12). Experience is no guarantee of present enduring and overcoming. Acclimation to trouble and God's "very present help" nevertheless make it more likely we will "glorify the Lord in the fires" (Isaiah 24:15).
The heat of this day prepares us for the heat of tomorrow and all days to come. This is true physically, and far more true spiritually. Trusting and submitting to God in our present challenge strengthens us for today. "As thy days, so shall thy strength be" (Deuteronomy 33:25). Availing ourselves of such grace also means we will be far more likely to overcome the challenges that await us further down the road. Failure to avail in this day can equally mean we will not be as ready for future difficulties. We therefore seek to overcome in today's battles for today's sake, and also for the spiritual acclimation that prepares us for the heat of tomorrow's opportunities to walk faithfully with our Lord.
"We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth, so that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure" (II Thessalonians 1:3-4).
"Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby."
Weekly Memory Verse
"Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and Thy Word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by Thy name, O LORD God of hosts" (Jeremiah 15:16).