While painful, difficult seasons strengthen and mature our faith.

To get the most out of this devotion, set aside time to read the scriptures referenced throughout.

Franklin D. Roosevelt wrote, “A smooth sea never made a skillful sailor.” It’s a simple but wise saying that reminds us about the importance of hardships in our life. Without challenges, we never learn new skills or gain the spiritual strength needed in order to endure. This is why the apostle Paul teaches us to “celebrate in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope” (Romans 5:3-4).

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Everyone faces difficulties. For some, it might involve financial challenges or the loss of good health. Others might know the pain that comes with the breakup of a family or the death of a long-held dream. The question is not if one of these things will happen to us but when. Rather than spend time worrying, we put our faith in God—the One who tells us, “Even to your old age I will be the same, and even to your graying years I will carry you!” (Isaiah 46:4).

Think about it

  •  Write a thank-you note to God, expressing gratitude for the challenges and difficulties you have faced in life. Tell Him all the ways they’ve benefited you over time.

Bible in One Year: Proverbs 9-12