Summary: Trials are hard but getting through them brings joy.

Objects: A set of dumbbells or some type of weightlifting equipment.

Scripture: Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith makes us stronger. James 1:2-3

I decided about 6 months ago that I wanted to try to get in better shape. As we get older we sometimes get out of shape. And we often don’t feel as good. So I made my mind up to do it. I am going to lose a few pounds, eat less ice cream and get plenty of exercise. I also decided I would start lifting weights.

This morning I have some weights with me. As you can see, these aren't very heavy weights. They are small and pretty light. In fact I don’t even have any weight on here. So if I lift this what will it do for me? Do you think I would increase my strength by lifting these weights if I do it every day? No, I could lift these little weights every day and nothing would really happen. The only way that I can increase my strength is to lift weights that are more difficult for me to lift. That is the only way for me to get stronger. It takes work.

Sometimes we want everything in life to be easy. We don’t want to invest the time. I see classes on the internet where you can learn to play Guitar in 10 days. You can lose 30 pounds in two weeks, a musical instrument in 7 days, you can lose 30 pounds in one week; they all describe it as fast and easy. But the truth is, it’s not. Yet people buy into it. We don't like it when trouble comes our way and things hard. The Bible tells us that we should be happy when hard times come our way because if we use our faith; if we exercise our faith in God, our faith becomes stronger. When a small problem comes our way, we should trust God to handle it. Then when a little bigger problem comes along, we trust Him to handle that as well. If we keep on doing this, our faith will become stronger and stronger until we will realize that there is no problem too big for God to handle. Now that's a strong faith!

Let's make up our mind that we are going to get into good spiritual shape by exercising our faith each and every day.

Lord, we are thankful that we can trust you to handle the problems that come into our lives. Help us each day to exercise our faith so that our faith will become strong.

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