In the days before heat schedules, water bottles, and air conditioning in schools, concentrating on any subject was challenging. I remember how unbearable the late August heat could be. In my high school some of my classes were on the third floor of our building, built in 1916. Getting through a class you didn’t enjoy, one that required extra work, meant a bigger challenge to keep your focus. Algebra was that class for me, with the added temptation to look in the back of the book where there was an answer key. Of course, the teacher always knew what you had done because at test time you were lost. You hadn’t worked the problem, and without taking the time and patience required, you hadn’t truly learned. The Christian’s walk with Christ can be like that. When we struggle to find the answer, we long for a short cut. Just tell me what to do, Lord…
Thankfully, God is wiser, and He knows that tests and trials work patience in us and bring us to maturity, strengthening our faith. This would never come about if we had a ready answer to every problem we face. Strong and steady wins the race:
For because of our faith, he has brought us into this place of highest privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to actually becoming all that God has had in mind for us to be. We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us—they help us learn to be patient. And patience develops strength of character in us and helps us trust God more each time we use it until finally our hope and faith are strong and steady. Romans 5:2-4
Throughout the trials and problems of life we learn to keep our faith in God and do our part as He leads us through the valleys that make us stronger, more ready to face the next challenge. When it feels like you do not have the strength to continue and the short cut tempts you to find that easy answer, keep working the problem with God’s help. In the end, you will find a strong and steady faith is yours.