“Finally, brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please God,
as in fact you are living. Now we ask you in the name of the Lord Jesus
to do this more and more.”
1 Thessalonians 4:1 (NIV)
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When our son was growing up, we had a ritual we followed. We had received a paper measuring device that we attached to the doorpost in his room. Periodically, we would have him stand up against it and mark his height on the paper. When I grew up, parents did this right on a wall in a corner or on the doorpost itself. As I now watch old western movies, I see places where families did this very same practice. It speaks of their love for their children.
God gives us signs of our growth as we mature in Christ. He allows events to occur in our lives that draws us closer to Him. James tells us to “consider it pure joy . . . whenever you face trials.” He continues to explain that those trials allow us to become mature in our faith.
God allows rough times to enter our lives for His own reasons. Primarily, He wants us to grow closer to Him. Then, later on, we may have the opportunity to comfort another person as they face a similar hardship. Or, God may use that trial as a benchmark to remind us when we endure a future trial.
As we grow in Christ, we find we are not as impressed with the trappings of this world.