"The testing of your faith develops perseverance."1
For a number of years I lived in the shadow of 10,000-foot-high high Mt. Baldy in California where we were protected from most of the high winds that roar down a canyon pass a few miles east of us. At times when the high winds did reach us, numerous trees were toppled.
Here, the trees, when planted, are tied tightly to stakes to hold them firmly when the winds blow. However, because of being tied too tightly to the stakes, they don't develop a strong root system. In South Australia I lived at the top of the Adelaide hills, about 2,000 feet high, where strong gusty winds are common. There we planted the trees when they were very small—with just enough support to stop them from toppling—so the winds would help them develop a sturdy root system. When fully grown, rarely were they toppled by the winds.
That's what makes us strong too. The winds of adversity that are par for life's course can either motivate us to grow strong or we can allow them to topple us. This is the reason James said, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers [and sisters], whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."2
Remember, too, "Kites rise against the wind, not with it."
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, help me to grow and become strong through the 'valleys of despair and winds of adversity' that You allow to come into my life—and thereby help me to become the person You want me to be. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus's name. Amen."
1. James 1:2 (NIV).
2. James 1:2-4 (NIV).