Smooth Seas

I was struggling to open a heavy door for my wife. A large, powerful arm reached out and easily pulled the door open. I could not help but notice that the gentleman who assisted had a tattoo on his bicep. The tattoo read, “Smooth seas do not make a skilled sailor.” The phrase reminded me of a valuable spiritual principle. Trials and struggles are often the very events that make us strong. Faith grows in the midst of adversity.

The following scriptures emphasize this principle:

  • Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. (James 1:12, NIV).
  •  And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast” (1 Peter 5:10, NIV).
  •  “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:2-4, NIV).

We can all benefit from the spiritual lesson from these scriptures. At times, we may long for a life in which there are no drawbacks, no difficulties, no sorrows, no temptations.  If we received what we longed for, it could result in a spiritual desert in our souls. The very difficulties we face help form Christian character when taken in the proper way.

In Acts 14:22, the Apostle Paul was intent on “strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith.” He said, “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.”  

It is true that life has its hard times, but God’s word assures us that these times are essential to develop Christian maturity. I believe the truth expressed in that tattoo: ‘Smooth seas do not make a skilled sailor.’ I agree with Paul: For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18, NIV).  

There would be no rainbows without both rain and sunshine.

~ Brother Roy


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