“Through all this, the congregations grew stronger in faith.” —Acts 16:5
There is a form of exercise called resistance training. Physical endurance and muscle tone is built through encountering resistance and persevering in the exercise despite that resistance. When the person finds it easier to do the exercise, the amount of resistance is then increased until the person can overcome that level as well.
Just as exercises build strength through overcoming resistance, so the resistance of persecution can make us stronger disciples of Christ. As the kingdom of darkness increases its resistance to our discipleship efforts, we ask the Lord for strength to overcome. Gradually our spiritual “muscles” grow stronger.
When we step out in ministry and it seems the answer to our efforts is a “No,” it could be that God is actually using the resistance to strengthen us for future ministry (see Acts 16:5-10). The world, the flesh, and the devil (1 Jn 2:16) will always resist our efforts to serve the Lord. Even so, like the physical resistance exercises, the experience of spiritual perseverance despite opposition can strengthen our spiritual “muscles,” drawing us closer to Jesus. “Resist [Satan], solid in your faith” (1 Pt 5:9). “Resist the devil and he will take flight” (Jas 4:7).
Prayer: Father, though I am weak, You are strong (2 Cor 12:9). I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me (Phil 4:13).
Promise: “If you find that the world hates you, know it has hated Me before you.” —Jn 15:18
Praise: Bob overcame addiction to pornography by retraining his will. He prays: “Not my will but Yours be done” (see Mt 26:39).
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.) (For a related teaching on Hold Fast to the Faith, order, listen to, or download our CD 71-1 or DVD 71 on our website.)
Rescript: "In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat for One Bread, One Body covering the period from April 1,2021 through May 31, 2021 Reverend Steve J. Angi, Chancellor, Vicar General, Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio August 5,2020"
The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.