Often times we perceive spiritual growth through the lens of the positive moments in our life; those intimate times when we are walking close with God and all in the World seems right. But truth is, its during the trials and tribulations when we we often times see the most growth.
James states “ 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.”
And Paul expands the concept in Romans 5:3-5 “And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
Both of these men walked with Jesus, and understood the power of trials, the potential growth of tribulations..that negatives often produce more gains than positives. Weight-lifters and cross fitters understand this concept, when they reach a plateau and need to shock the body, they move from positive sets to negatives sets…focusing on the slow methodical movements in the negative aspect of the lift.
So if you feel like you are spiritually plateaued or you are in the middle of trial…rejoice as Paul and James explain, because you are on the verge of spiritual expansion. Focus on God, His purpose for the season you are in, and enjoy the spiritual workout. Because negatives can produce great gains! .