By Lauren Haney

What do you think of when you hear the word comfortable? Do you think about your favorite chair at your parent’s house? Your favorite pair of shoes? Maybe a time that you felt like you belonged or fit in? What do you think of when you hear the word uncomfortable? Do you think of the shoes your parents used to make you wear for church on Easter Sunday? Riding in the car for hours, squished with your siblings in the back seat? Maybe a time you knew the right decision would be awkward and hard to do, but did it anyways because you knew it was right?

We tend to prefer the comfortable situations over the uncomfortable, right? I mean, that’s pretty obvious. Who wants to be uncomfortable? But what if maybe we started living our lives on the uncomfortable side. Not necessarily the shoes or the car rides, but the situations in life where God calls us to step out of our comfort zone.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” – James 1:2-4

James 1 states that we should consider our trials as pure joy! We shouldn’t try to run from them, or go back to a place where we feel comfortable. God is not testing us, but He allows us to be pushed out of our comfort zone to grow our faith. He allows us to be uncomfortable to experience things that can be used to His glory and to further His kingdom.

Discomfort doesn’t always look like jumping on a plane to go around the world to preach God’s love and mercy. Discomfort doesn’t always look like changing schools or majors to go to seminary instead. Discomfort doesn’t always look like something extreme in your life, and it can look different for everyone. Where someone may struggle with talking to their peers about Christ, others may struggle with the idea of giving cheerfully to God, and others may really struggle with forgiveness.

If you find yourself coasting along in your “comfort zone”, begin looking for where God’s trying to push you, and allow you to grow in your faith. He didn’t call us to live comfortably, but to live outside of our comfort zone.