No Trials, No Triumphs

By Jim Ramsey

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My elliptical exercise machine, which I try to use 30 minutes each morning, has certainly been beneficial to me in my efforts to take care of my health since my quintuple bypass surgery (almost ten years ago). This equipment has some built-in programs for different purposes, all contributing to overall fitness, and its programs have a wide range of difficulty based on time and resistance level. We’re all familiar with the phrase “no pain, no gain,” and my daily routine certainly reminds me of it!

Time and resistance are also beneficial to our spiritual lives. When I reflect upon the “tools” God has used in my life I realize that resistance has aided in my spiritual growth, my stamina, my faith, more than anything else that has come my way. You may have heard this saying: A faith that can’t be tested is a faith that can’t be trusted.” The path of least resistance is not the path that leads to triumph in life. Lord, when trials (resistance) come into our lives (time), please help us to see them as tools in Your hand to strengthen us and make us more useful for Your glory!

The Christian’s Unfair Advantage in Trials

By Jim Ramsey


It is hard to see our brothers and sisters in Christ go through times of suffering, loss, and hardship. Our consolation in Christ is that even though trials are a part of life, a part that is unavoidable for all of us, God has given us an advantage in such times! Scripture is clear that I will face trials–that it takes courage to face my problems, to strive for holiness, and to live for God in an increasingly non-Christian culture. So, what IS the “unfair advantage” I have over the non-Christian in facing trials?