No Pain No Gain

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience”

Jamess 1:2–3

It was Pastor Greg Laurie who said, “A faith that can’t be tested can’t be trusted” as it’s in the testing of our faith that we learn it’s depth. Faith is a spiritual muscle that to grow must be exercised. There is no shortcut to developing a vibrant Christian walk. There are many struggles and trials along the way as we learn to stand, not to mention many bumps and bruises too in our journey of faith. The aim of our lives isn’t to be ease but rather, purpose. The life Jesus came to give us is one of meaning as we were created by Him and for Him. There is a God given purpose for your being.

I am reminded of the story of the young boy who came across a butterfly cocoon and brought it into his house. He watched it, and over the course of hours the butterfly struggled to break free from its confinement. It finally managed to create a small hole in the cocoon, but its body was too large to escape. It tired and became still.

Wanting to help the butterfly, the boy cut a slit in the cocoon with a pair of scissors. But the butterfly was small, weak, and its wings crumpled. The boy expected the insect to take flight, but instead it could only drag its undeveloped body along the ground. It was incapable of flying, and though the young boy only sought to help, eliminating the God ordained struggle resulted in the butterfly’s dying.  

The boy, in his eagerness to help the butterfly, stunted its development. What he did not know was that the butterfly needed to go through the process of struggling against the cocoon to gain strength and fill its wings with blood. It was the struggle that made it stronger. Seeking to eliminate the struggle only results in deformed development.

What is true for the butterfly is just as true regarding me and you! Remember, our metamorphosis includes a struggle not the absence of it. The word is metamorphoō, from which we get metamorphosis, two Greek words, morphē, meaning body or form, and meta, meaning change. Its used 4 times in the New Testament, two times regarding Jesus transfiguration and two times speaking of ours, and it always means a radical transformation.

Using this story as a metaphor, you were not created to remain a caterpillar. God has bigger plans for you! He wants you to learn to fly! Learning to soar to new heights won’t come without a struggle though. Don’t let the world squeeze you into its mold. Experience the metamorphosis for yourself. Romans 12:2 teaches us, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed (metamorphoo) by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” The apostle Paul reminds us in 2 Corinthians 3:18, “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed (metamorphoo) into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” We can trust the Lord, and trust in the process knowing…

“being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ”

Philippians 1:6


Michael Osthimer





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