When traveling down the road and you see those beautiful orange signs on the side of the road that say ‘Road Work Ahead,’ what comes to mind? Is it anger, frustration, or anxiety about what lies ahead? Do you start working out a different route so that you can avoid the oncoming hassle? Or do you look at and think ‘Good, this road is about to be improved’?

Not many of us enjoy discipline, whether self-imposed or externally enforced. However, much like you can’t have better roads without the hassle of orange cones in your way, God tells us that hard times are a necessary means by which we attain spiritual maturity.

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been. (Hebrews 12:11)

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. (Romans 5:3-5)

May you not be anxious or resentful of the hard times ahead. Instead, may you be thankful that God has something better planned for you on the other side.