Battle is not pretty. It costs and 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. They are aware that purpose is born through suffering.
How we embrace suffering reflects our measure of faith. As God’s soldiers, we will never mature unless we go through 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, especially 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 for the church encouraged him when he was facing much suffering.
We must suffer to experience God’s anointing. We will not see oil until the olive is squeezed and pressed to produce what’s inside.
Paul tells us what we need to P.A.S.S.
P- Patience To endure, we must have patience. Patience cannot be rushed. It builds over time while we endure the suffering. We only develop patience when we are determined to have a single focus. Patience teaches us self-discipline.
A- Accept We serve Christ no matter the cost. We determine to see this journey to completion. We accept that we must give up whatever is necessary to succeed. We recognize 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.
S- Sacrifice We must sacrifice those things we cannot control. 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. The sacrifice has value and purpose.
S- Strength We gain strength by suffering. It builds the inner person and increases our ability to trust God. Strength can only build when we continue to 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 upon You. I love You.
In Jesus’ name, amen.
Copyright 2021: Boot Camp: Charles E. Maldon, Jr.: All Rights Reserved