In one of Tom Cruise’s newest movies, The Edge of Tomorrow, there is a line that gets repeated multiple times and really serves as the underlying plot as well as the big takeaway. Cage plays a soldier who winds up repeating a battle over and over… and over again, learning from his mistakes each time. His commanding officer, Master Sergeant Farell, tells him on the morning of every repeat that, “Glorious combat (is) the fiery crucible, where the only true heroes are forged.”
Jesus’ followers are constantly being tested – not in the sense that He’s trying to make us fail, but in the sense that He’s preparing us to pass. He tests us through trials and troubles, just as a craftsman “tries” or purifies metals in intense and melting heat. But the toughest of tests isn’t loneliness or loss. It isn’t suffering. It’s praise.