Don’t you love the word steppingstone? Steppingstones gives you a place to step protecting from mud and mire. The words safe, clean, secure and protect come to mind when I think of steppingstones. Isn’t it interesting that the Bible teaches to look at trials as steppingstones? “Wait a minute,” you may say, “Trials are obstacles, not my idea of fun. How can they be steppingstones?”
Let’s take a look at Romans 5:3-5, it clearly explains what I am saying. “3 We glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” This biblical passage teaches us a sequence. It starts with suffering (or trials). Walking on the steppingstones of trials produces perseverance which produces character, which produces hope, which does not disappoint us because it focuses us on God’s love that has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit.
Take a look at Galatians 5 noting the fruit that the Holy Spirit produces in our lives, “22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control.” We all want to live a life that is embodied by these characteristics. Well, it begins with the steppingstones of trial. Thus, James 1:2 states for us, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds.” Why? Because trials are steppingstones not obstacles.