There is this gravely false notion that once we commit ourselves to following Christ, life will just be better as a whole in a short period of time. This is not true. Once a decision has been made to make a change in our life for the good, whether we are followers of Christ or not, life will get more difficult just as sure as the sun rises every morning. God, the creator of all that is, has set in motion a natural order of things. And one natural order is the very decision and act to make an improvement in our lives requires us to go through a series of difficulties to prepare us for the completion of the desired goal.

Here is an example. One day I made the decision to go parachuting with some co-workers. It took several steps to reach this desired goal. I had to attain a certain amount of money. I had to plan a day to spend 4 to 6 hours to reach this goal. Once I was on site, I had to read and sign paperwork. Then spend the next few hours learning about several aspects of parachuting. I had to learn about the technical and the safety aspects of parachuting. I had to prepare my mind for the jump and much more. This several hour process was to prepare me for the final eight minutes of my jump. This is how God has created nature and the order of things in our life. To reach a worthy goal we will need to be prepared for the completion of that goal.

There is a old saying: "Money without wisdom leads to trouble." Why is this true? If we have a poverty mindset in this life we will naturally use money in the wrong way. We won't put value on the act of saving it. We will use credit cards to rack up debt to get the electronics, vacation or car we want instead of saving for it. We will use money to bring short term gratification in place of long term decisions of principles. We could replace the word money in the old saying with the word relationships or education. In doing so the meaning of the saying is the same in any area of life.

Now the question becomes: How do we acquire wisdom? 1 Peter 5:10 (Paraphrased) states, " And after you have suffered a little while, God... will Himself complete and make you what you ought to be, establish and ground you securely, and strengthen, and settle you. Suffering, not education, is a key to gaining wisdom. It's not all about reading the bible everyday or diligently praying the same prayers daily. Though I believe and practice self talk and auto suggestion, I do not believe any of it would work if we didn't have a testing ground to prove our faith. The importance of difficulty is to strengthen our faith. Difficulty and hardship are the proving grounds for our belief system. This is how we work out our salvation. Studying the bible will not give you the strength to fulfill the call on your life. Only difficulty and hardship will prepare you for the call on your life because the call requires a man or woman who has been proven to endure hardship, persevere through pain and have hope in the midst of hell.

If you have decided to fulfill the call on your life or to make a definite change for the good, don't take hardship personally. It is only preparing you for the fulfillment of the desired result or it is testing you to see if you will do what it takes to meet the fulfillment at the crossroads of determination and difficulty.

I believe you have what it takes.