“6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” (1 Peter 1:6-9, ESV)
nOne of the harder more strenuous sides of weightlifting for me is seeing the bigger picture. I often find myself focused on one bad workout or one hard exercise or one small specific cycle that didn’t go so well. I live for big weights and massive PRs and ultimately competition. While this is a blessing most the time, often this mentality will keep me from focusing on some of the more monotonous, boring, necessary sides of weightlifting. I despise heavy good mornings, front squat triples, behind the neck push presses, and basically anything that is unexciting or not a maximal lift. However, propers perspective helps me to see that struggling through these types of lifts produce greater results. Struggling through strength cycles leads to greater lifts later. Perspective is crucial for weightlifting.
Today one of my good friends Adam Griffin was talking out of first Peter and specifically honed in on the trials and suffering and tribulation that comes with life. In first Peter 1:6-9 some of the problems I have in weightlifting shows up for life. Perspective can make all the difference. It’s no secret that life is hard, trials and suffering are just a part of it, and often we can find ourselves unhappy and joyless. What Peter is stating here in these verses is that yes trials happen but ultimately they are not the end. Christ is the end. He is coming back and He is going to redeem all that is broken. Furthermore, he states that while suffering will happen, this suffering tests our faith and reveals our weakness. A parent getting divorced, a loved one dying, or losing your job are all likely things we will encounter or experience throughout our life. They are a result of sin and worth mourning and grieving over. These trials sanctify us. They make us more like Jesus. Christ suffered and suffered greatly and in our suffering we find ourselves exposing many of our own faults, idols, and sin. This is why Peter tells us to rejoice with inexpressible joy in these verses. The multiple different trials that we will encounter ultimately chisel and refine away our faults and sin that prevent us from intimacy with Christ. I’m not saying to look for suffering but when suffering finds you keeps a proper perspective. Suffering in trial creates a more purified person just like fire when applied to gold creates a more pure gold. Suffering also should increase your desire for Christ’s return and your intimacy with Him. I loved Adam’s words as he reminded me of the importance of maintaining the proper perspective that God is in charge of everything, Christ redeemed and saved me already, and the realization that hard things produce good things.
Just like in weightlifting, strength cycles and boring monotonous movements create a better weightlifter so also do trials and suffering create a more transparent believer. Do I actively desire to do front squat triples and behind the neck push presses? Absolutely not! I live for max match and max clean and jerks. The same is true of suffering and trial. I am not looking and actively seeking to suffer but I realize that amidst these trials they push me to a greater joy and closer intimacy with Christ. Remember to maintain a perspective of the joy we can have amidst hard circumstances and remember that ultimately squats will always do you good.