Battle is not pretty. It requires discipline for victory. In boot camp, soldiers learn winning strategies so they can fight and win.
Soldiers must have a mindset that entails a single purpose, which they know includes suffering.
How we embrace suffering reflects our measure of faith. As God’s soldiers, we will never mature unless we endure the preparation designed to break, shape, and mold us for Christ’s kingdom. How we endure sets a model for our families to follow. Relying on Christ as we suffer allows us to look from where we have come and realize positive results.
The word endure, when paired with suffering, seems strenuous and unappealing. However, discomfort is necessary for growth and reaps many benefits. As Christ shapes us, we become better soldiers.
Endure suffering along with me as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. Soldiers don’t get tied up in the affairs of civilian life, for then they cannot please the officer who enlisted them. And athletes cannot win the prize unless they follow the rules. And hardworking farmers should be the first to enjoy the fruit of their labor.~2 Timothy 2:3-6 NASB
Paul’s plan for Timothy encouraged him when he faced suffering. We must suffer to experience God’s anointing. We will not see oil until the olive is squeezed and pressed.
Paul tells us what we need to P.A.S.S. the test when suffering comes.
Patience cannot be rushed but builds over time as we endure suffering. We only develop patience when we are determined to have a single focus. Patience teaches us self-discipline.
We serve Christ no matter the cost, determined to complete the journey. We must give up whatever is necessary to succeed in our call to serve. Like the soldier in boot camp, we consider the cost, and we know that we must follow through with hard choices.
We cannot control the outcome of suffering, but we can surrender to Christ. It is not a sacrifice if it does not cost us anything. Boot camp requires separation from family, friends, ideology, and perspective. We take on Christ’s mindset, and this sacrifice has value and purpose.
We gain strength by suffering. It builds the inner person and increases our ability to trust God. Strength can only be built when we push. We will never know how much strength we have until we find ourselves in a battle.
Have you gone through Christ’s boot camp of suffering? Share your experience.
Father God, help me to develop good character through suffering. As a soldier in boot camp, help me to give up worldly security and endure hardships. Help me to remember the purpose I am working toward and that my highest desire is to minister effectively. Encourage me to move forward and strengthen me when I experience weak moments. When I have missed the mark, redirect me and help me to keep going with my focus on You. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Copyright 2021: Boot Camp: Charles E. Maldon, Jr.: All Rights Reserved