When my daughter was younger she loved playing soccer. She was a good player but she was timid. Once, I even saw a player on her own team steal the ball from her! Over the 13 years that she played, she did a lot of things to improve her skills including individual training, travel teams, and extra practice.
In the end, there was one thing that improved her play far more than anything else—signing up for a co-ed recreational league for players 18 and under. That meant as a petite, 14-year-old girl she was playing against 18-year-old men! Of course, her skills and endurance were tested, but above all her mindset was tested. To stay in the game, she had to grow. She learned that when things were hard, she had to focus on her goals and work harder and work smarter.
If you were trying to improve as an athlete, you would want to have the most knowledgeable and skilled people around you to teach you. In your life, you have the opportunity and privilege of being trained and coached by the God of the universe! God doesn’t want bad things to happen to you, but in this broken, sin-stained world, hard times are a certainty.
God will not let our trials be put to waste if we stay focused on Him and allow Him to work in our lives. As James tells us, our struggles are an opportunity for us to display the joy and hope we have in the Lord and to grow in our faith. Consider it a coaching opportunity from the Lord!
When you feel outmatched by the things swirling around you, what is your perspective? When your faith is tested, focus on seeing it as an opportunity to grow and lean into Jesus.