Jesus’ brother James taught us, “Obstacles make you larger.” He taught us as men not to resist the pain of becoming a larger man. He said, "When your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow."
King David, as a young man, is perhaps our best example of how to endure a deep, wounding pain and allow God to turn it into greatness, largeness. Catch how this applies to you.
During the disastrous reign of King Saul, God called the prophet Samuel to find and anoint the next king. Samuel went to a successful sheep rancher with eight sons. David was the youngest, about thirteen years old. David's dad showed Samuel the older seven sons. He didn’t even bother to bring David out of the fields. It was as if David's dad said, "Hey boys, one of you will be the next king...uh, but not you, David."
Samuel, led by God, asked, “You don’t have any other sons?” David’s dad dismissed it with, “Well, there’s David.” When he finally called for David, Samuel anointed him. Even after he was anointed to be the next king, David was sent back out with the sheep. David’s father did not affirm him.
But out in the fields, in quiet moments of loneliness and misery, David became intimate with his heavenly Father. David grew large, wrote songs, prayed, worked the sheep, killed dangerous animals. His heart was stretching, growing larger.
Then war came, and David’s brothers went off to fight. Not David. Instead, his dad made David the errand boy, carrying bread to his brothers. Tens of thousands of warriors gathered in a stand-off with the enemy Philistines. Into that valley, a vibrant, powerful David strode carrying…biscuits.
Embarrassment overwhelmed him. Shame slapped him in the face. But David had become larger than the pain. He’d become intimate with God. While his brothers cowered in fear, David saw a greater enemy—a giant, Goliath, who ridiculed his God.
Goliath called out for a champion to fight him, and David’s heart resonated. “That’s me!” he said. His brothers laughed at him, but David was no longer the boy marginalized by his dad. He was a champion on the inside, and it came out.
David ran toward Goliath and killed him. Defeating the pain increased his strength, stretched his heart, and resulted in defeating Goliath.
Most men today don’t have an earthly father who has affirmed them. You may never have heard your dad say, “Nice one,” or “You’re awesome,” or “You can do it.”
James was saying to us, in essence, “Deal with the pain, get stretched, and become the champion God made you to be.” He wrote:
“When troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.… When your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” James 1:2-4 NLT
Take the opportunity of pain to spend time with your Father, to be filled with his love, affirmation, and faith. You are who God says you are. Romans says you are “more than a conqueror.” Bigger. Larger. Stronger than you believe you are, or anyone has ever told you. You are a champion. God’s champion. Live it.