I get to work with students in my work place on a regular basis and what I often tell them is that they can learn in any situation. You may learn the way you’d LIKE to do something from a preceptor OR you can learn how you DON’T want to do something. Every situation can be a learning experience. I remember how I learned this: one day I was complaining to a friend about a situation and they turned to look at me and said, “Well, Mary, I guess this is a character building experience for you.” I initially felt unvalidated by this comment but then the Spirit showed me what this comment meant. It revelated a different way of looking at a bad situation–either I can view it as a negative experience and waste my time bemoaning it, or I can view these experiences as a way to grow, to become more than I am, to improve.
What does God say?
6 being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6 NIV
God never stops working with us. He keeps molding and shaping us until we are exactly how He originally planned for us to be. He uses our experiences not to torture us but to improve us. He knows exactly what we need and never exceeds that. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13b NIV
This is why He says in James 1:2 – 4, 2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. NIV
God wants us to be the best we can be. He wants us to be like Christ!
So let’s change how we look at the trials in our lives–we might not be ready for ‘pure joy’ for a while but at least we can remember that we can learn from every situation and that good will eventually come from it. We will improve, become better and become complete, not lacking anything!