About twice a week, my wife and I have the same conversation. She says, “My workout at the gym was so hard today.” And, after hearing the details, I say, “That does sound hard.” And then she says, “I can feel the ache already.” And I say, “It will hurt even more tomorrow.” And she says, “I know. It will be terrible.” And I say, “How much are we paying these people?!”
Because we are! Every month the Discover card statement reminds me we are paying someone to put my wife through pain. In fact, some gyms these days even boast about their sinister plans to hurt our loved ones, naming themselves Burn Boot Camp or Fire Fitness.
But you probably know the reason why. As the old saying goes, “No pain, no gain.” You know that if you want to be able to play sports in your 40s or wrestle with your grandkids in your 60s or hike the hills of Jerusalem in your 70s, you need to have a strong body. And strength, as science tells us, comes after we put our bodies through pain.
According to the Bible, your faith works the same way: “We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope” (Romans 5:3,4). Think about your current sufferings, inconveniences, and frustrations. What might God be producing through them? Scribble a few blessings God might be giving on the other side of your pain.
Then, like Paul, you can boast in the burn.