You hear it in gyms, on courts, on fields and in the weight room: “NO PAIN, NO GAIN.”

Athletically, if you want to grow bigger, stronger, and faster you must experience
the pain of doing hard things. You must put those muscles under tension; push them
until it hurts. If you don’t, there will be no muscle growth and therefore, no improved

It is the same way in our walk with Jesus. Growth is never easy, which explains the
term “growing pains”.

There are three areas (C’s) in which we must do hard things in order to grow in our
walk with Jesus.

Character – Who are you when no-one is looking? Do your actions change when you
believe you are alone? When you get bumped while under tension, what spills

Competence – Can you coherently share your faith story with others? If asked
“What is the gospel?” could you answer it? Consistency – What hard disciplines have
you built into your life to ignite your growth as a follower of Jesus? What corporate and
private disciplines are a priority on your calendar?

Jesus did some very hard things to secure our salvation. What hard things are you
doing to spur growth in character, competence, and consistency? Let’s make
2024 a hard year.