My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
Suffering and trials are not new to me, and I know there’s many people out there that can relate to that. I grew up in a rough home with physically and mentally abusive stepfathers. I used to see demons in the middle of the night, outside my bedroom window and in the hallways of my home. I tried to act strong for my little brother, but I was just as scared as he was.
I was bullied through school, from third grade to graduation and beyond. I joined the military and was despised by my leadership, deployed to Afghanistan and only came home by the grace of God. I’ve been mistreated, bullied, and abused my entire life, it’s not new to me. I never understood why until I became a Christian and the Lord called me to His service.
From an early age, the enemy had done all he could to destroy me, but God carried me through until the day I found Him, and it was then I realized He had been there all along. A veteran of war who’s been tested and proven is more trustworthy in battle than a new recruit, despite all appearances. Christians also must “endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ”, because it’s pleasing to the Lord and a powerful witness when we endure suffering with joy and trust in His name (II Tim. 2:3).
Do not be ignorant, we are at war every day against the powers of darkness and spiritual hosts of wickedness (Eph. 6:12), so do not think it strange when fiery trials come up on you (I Pet. 4:12). Let the testing of your faith produce the patience and endurance necessary to be a trustworthy soldier, because the time is short and the war will only intensify from here on. You have been called to battle, but there is no room for the lukewarm on the battlefield.