I had a hip replacement eighteen days ago with recovery being disrupted by a couple of days in the hospital because of a threatening infection near the operative area. I had little strenuous physical therapy. That is until last Friday. A young physical therapist who totally ignored my suggestions of “taking it easy a couple of days” came into my home. Right off the bat he enthusiastically challenged me to do some exercises that were incredibly painful. In my mind, I was totally convinced that these exercises would cause further injury. Pressing forward I did them reluctantly. The results? I was wrong. Even though the exercises hurt like heck, it didn’t take long for me to understand that they were essential to full recovery.
As followers of Christ, Jesus makes sure we experience “spiritual therapy” to strengthen and grow us. James 1:2-4 states it this way, “2 Consider it pure joy…whenever you face trials of many kinds (spiritual therapy), 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance (or endurance) finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James let us know that we will become unfit for service if we are not tested. Trials that we do not want to go through cause “the testing of our faith” which “produces perseverance.” Then, James further explains for us to “let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” “Spiritual therapy” may be painful, but the results are S-T-R-E-N-G-T-H and G-R-O-W-T-H!
1 Peter 1:6&7 builds onto the importance of “spiritual therapy”, “6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. The result of the “spiritual therapy” or “suffering grief” is “refinement by fire” which “results in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus is revealed.”
In James “spiritual therapy” was trials. In Peter, it was suffering grief. The results are maturity, completeness, praise, glory, and honor. “Spiritual therapy” is not easy. It is for sure not fun but God is in the midst of it glorifying his son!