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A gift for when you are under pressure

Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colours. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.

James 1 : 2 - 4 (MSG)

At first glance this week's passage may seem a little strange. We are being told that obstacles, opposition and challenges are a good thing. We are told to consider these things to be gifts, and I am sure that you wouldn't be eager to unwrap a parcel that contained this.

However as the passage continues we can start to see the benefit in this kind of gift. It is when you are stressed, or under pressure that the real you starts to show. This allows you to see how strong your faith really is, and of course will help you to strengthen it.

Like with most things that require hard work, the results will not be immediate. We are encouraged not to jump-ship and give up too early, as this will not help yourself or anyone else. Like with a workout down the gym the benefit comes when you are feeling tired and want to stop, yet you choose to carry on. This is when the real benefit starts and you begin to get fitter, go further and get stronger.

Maybe we just need to think of problems, challenges and obstacles differently. Rather than seeing them in a negative light, seeing them as trying to pull us down. We should instead see them as opportunities, chances for us to step up, chances to enter a bigger challenge or test our skills. Start to see challenges, setbacks and problems as a gift in disguise, see them as your opportunity to shine a little bit brighter.

This week make a special effort to change the way you see challenges. Turn these ‘little gifts’ into opportunities to do great things for God. Have a great week.

This week's song is Hands of love by Crowder.

Header image by: JD Hancock