A journey is rarely the same terrain all the time. There are times when the ground will be level and the journey will be relatively easy. Then at times, the journey will be an uphill climb. And then other times the journey is a downhill descent.
Throughout the journey, whether flat or up or down, the ground will change too. At times it will be smooth, but at other times be rocky or slippery. All are part of the same journey.
A journey is rarely the same terrain all the time.
One thing I’ve been learning in the recent portion of my journey is that regardless of the terrain, there is always a purpose in the journey. The uphill climb strengthens your legs, which is needed when the ground is slippery or for the downhill descent. The uphill and downhill portions give you a better appreciation for the times when the ground is level and smooth.
There is always a purpose in the journey
If we are honest, we would choose for our journey to be level and smooth at all times…for our journey to always be easy and comfortable.
But what would we learn if our journey was always that way? What would the purpose of our journey be? What gain would it be to us?
If we never went through times when life was a struggle, we wouldn’t be able to fully recognize or appreciate the good times. If we didn’t have seasons that were lean, we wouldn’t learn how to live better with the abundance. If we didn’t have to learn and grow stronger, we’d always be weak and immature.
We may not always like portions of our journey…but there is always a purpose in them
God uses every part of our journey, every season of our life, every good and difficult time, to continue to teach us and grow us. He is continually preparing us for what’s next, continually training us, continually working on us.
Consider Peter. One of the 12 Disciples of Jesus. Early on as he was following Jesus, he was told that God would use him to build his church (Matthew 16:18).
Peter was the one who denied Jesus 3 times. Peter was the Disciple that failed the greatest. The other Disciples ran away when Jesus was arrested, but Peter verbally denied even knowing Jesus.
Later, Jesus sought out Peter, forgave him 3 times, and restored him. Peter was going to be used by God in a mighty way. But before he could, he had to experience failure and be humbled, so that he could experience God’s forgiveness and grace.
That trained him and prepared him to build the church. To take the gospel to the Gentiles, who were looked down upon by the Jews. Who better to show grace and forgiveness to that level than someone who had experienced it to that level.
Or consider Joseph. He was riding pretty high when he was young. But then ended up losing it all and being sent away to a place where he didn’t know anyone or anything. He went from riding high to being at the bottom.
For years he had to work hard. He had to learn a new and different culture and way of living. And he had to experience and understand the depths of despair and hardships.
All in preparation for God to use him when the time was right. To step up and take over a major task to help save a nation from an impending hardship. As well as to have the authority to bring his family to him, to save his family so that the nation of Israel could begin.
So if God used failure and hardships to train Peter and Joseph for his purpose, why would you or I think he isn’t doing that in our life as well?
My journey has not been easy of late. I’m experience hardships in different ways. It’s not easy to remain positive and not get discouraged. At times I still question why I’m in this place.
I’m sure Peter and Joseph had those same thoughts and feelings too.
And like God was preparing Peter and Joseph, I believe that God is preparing me for what is next. My journey at this time may be uphill and the ground is uneven…but that’s strengthening me and preparing me for the next portion of my journey.
There is always a purpose in the journey
The enemy wants to destroy us. He wants to cause us to be discouraged by our circumstances. To see what is hard and difficult and focus on that. He is a liar and will make it appear to be worse than it is, or try to get us to believe that God has abandoned us in those moments. He is only seeking to destroy us.
As Joseph said in Genesis 50:20 to his brothers, who were the ones who caused him to experience all of his hardships…
As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.
What the enemy has meant for evil, God will use for good.
God has already defeated the enemy! So we can live in victory, even while in the middle of hardships. I can live a victorious life, even when my journey is not easy. Because of God and his saving grace, I have been made victorious!
May we live in that victory. May I live in that victory.
May we realize that every step of our journey has a purpose. May I realized that my journey, even the parts I don’t enjoy, have a purpose.
God has a plan. He knows my heart and my dreams…and he has given me new dreams and desires for my future that he is leading me toward. May I continue to trust him, and see this journey for the purpose it has.
To God be all the glory…both now and when I reach the next portion of the journey.