God allows his children to face obstacles so they can learn the reliability of his promises. Even in the midst of a challenge, God never abandons his children. He never forsakes them. And he eventually brings them through. In fact, he brings them through triumphantly. And along the way, he develops faith in their hearts and character in their souls. He makes us better people and better disciples by allowing us to navigate the storms of life.

If we become better as a result of our struggles, God moves us along to the next level of spiritual growth. But if we become bitter, we will be forced to repeat the class. If we become joyful even when things are difficult, God promotes us. But if we become angry, we must go back and repeat the grade. If we learn to forgive, we graduate with honors. But if we become sullen and vengeful, we will just have to get back on the bus and take part in that field trip one more time with the hope of finally learning the lesson we missed the first time around.

We are in this school of discipleship for life, and God is in no hurry. As long as it takes, he will keep teaching us, first through instruction and wisdom and then, if necessary, through the harsh experiences of life. It’s up to you and it’s up to me how we choose to complete the educational requirements that God has set before us.