Here’s the good news … you will never know how low you could have gone without God, because he swooped in and rescued you. You will never know how bad it could have gotten without him, because you have never been without him. You will never know the person you would have been without God, because he never gave up on you.

And he never will. Ever. He will never give up. He will never leave. And honey, he will never stop rescuing you. Whatever it is you’re facing, you will NOT go through this without God. He will be by your side, he will guide your steps, and he will strengthen you through it all. On the other side of this, you will look back and see, you’re better for it.

Yes, you’re better for the fire, because you came out refined. You’re better for the storm, because you know only Jesus could have walked on that water to you. You’re better for the trouble because it trained you for the battle. Girl, you are so much better for it.

David was the little shepherd boy who showed up on the scene of a battle no one wanted to fight. The Philistine giant, Goliath, had taunted the Israelite army for 40 days. And for 40 days, thousands of trained soldiers with their weapons stood in fear and refused to fight Goliath. David is only on the battlegrounds to deliver lunch to his brothers, he wasn’t a soldier. And he had no weapons. But little David is who God would choose to defeat the giant and give his people victory.

But, here’s what we often miss in this story. David showed up better. Better for all he had gone through. What had he gone through? Training!

1 Samuel 17: 34-37, David says, “I have been keeping my Father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. I have killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”

Nothing David had gone through in the fields would be wasted. Every encounter with a lion or a bear had made him better. Better for battle against the enemy on the battlegrounds. Trained to trust in the power of God to strengthen him and rescue him. Now, he shows up with confidence in his God and who God had made him to be. And you bet there would be victory here! Impossible, unbelievable, undeniable victory! That giant was going down! He was going down because David showed up better.

Could this be why you have gone through what you have gone through? Maybe you weren’t facing a lion, but you had one heck of an encounter with the attacks of our enemy who, scripture says, “prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8) You weren’t facing a bear, but you had to bare a burden you didn’t think you were strong enough to carry. But God gave you supernatural strength to get through that, didn’t he? You’ve struggled, and you’ve overcome. You’ve failed, and you’ve gotten back up. You’ve wandered and gotten lost, and you’ve been found.

And through it all, God used it as training. Training that made you better.

Now, just like David, you show up having won a few battles and experienced God’s faithfulness to always get you through. You show up better for it. Better because of the hardship. Better because of the struggle. Better because of everything that seemingly went wrong, fell apart, and broke your heart. Better for every lion and bear that came your way.

But Sis, you’re not better just so you can coast now. You’re haven’t arrived to this next season of life to sit back and take it easy. Is that what you were expecting? Were you expecting that easy season of life where you no longer even have to try? You were thinking you would only show up when you want to here? No, girl, you went through all you went through so you would be better for it. Better because of what you went through, so you could be better for the next battle.

This isn’t over. This isn’t your time to coast. Stop seeking easy and comfortable. You’re here on a mission and you have a real enemy on the prowl. You’ve been trained by all you’ve gone through to fight bigger battles. There’s a Goliath ahead of you!

Nobody wants to hear that. Nobody wants to be told there’s struggle ahead. Nobody wants to face impossible giants standing in the way. But God knows, YOU WILL BE BETTER FOR IT!

Think about it … aren’t you here today, seeking a deeper relationship and connection with God because you’ve been through something. That pain brought you to him. You’re better for it.

And really, that’s the whole point of your life. God is making you better. He’s training you up to be everything he created you to be, and guess what … you don’t become everything you can be when life is always easy and comfortable. Ease and comfort makes you fat and lazy. Hardship makes you stronger. Struggle makes you show up. And the battle makes you better.

David defeated Goliath because of all the battles he had faced against lions and bears, and he was better for it. Now, David is better because of his encounter with an impossible giant everyone else was too afraid to face, and David is eventually made King. That’s what you call better for it! There were future battles, each one God would use to make him better.

You’ve been through a few battles. Can’t you see how you are better for it? You know the power of God, because you were in a place where only his power could have rescued you. You only know God is a healer if you’re first sick. You only know God is a provider if there’s first a great need. You only know God’s a redeemer if there’s first something you could never get over on your own. You are so much better for it. And the next battle will be the same. God will show up for you as only he can, and do what you cannot do. And you’ll be better for it!

I have a song for you. It’s a new addition to the BIG Life Mornings playlist on Spotify. It was a random play on one of my training runs earlier this week and I just can’t stop thinking about it. The title … Better For It, by Riley Clemmons. Listen to these words:

I wouldn’t say I would’ve chosen it
That time I hit the bottom and it hurt a little bit
Funny how being down can make you look up
But now I’m better for it
All I could see in the moment was
My heart and how it felt ripped open, I’ll admit
I found You down low in the brokenness
And now I’m better for it
I count it all as joy even when I’m in the flame
‘Cause I know You always
Gimme, gimme, gimme grace when I need it
Hindsight 20/20, now I see that
You let me be where I’ve been
So I can be all that I am

Gimme, gimme, gimme faith to believe that
When it hurts, there’s a real good reason
You let me be where I’ve been
So I can be all that I am
Better for it
God let me be where I’ve been so I can be all that I am. I’m better for it. Aren’t you better for it? Isn’t that what God has done through all of your battles? He’s made you better for it? Stronger. Closer. Equipped. Trained. Better because there’s more. God has more for you. More mission. More purpose. More victories. Girl, you are better for the battle.

Then the very end of the song says:

I’m better ’cause I’ll never have to be the way I would be
Without You, without You
Leading me where You want me

Thank God we never have to be the way we would be without God leading us. God is continually guiding us. And yes, he guides us right to the front lines of battles we would probably rather avoid, and he asks us to show up for it. But we show up trained. We show up better and we will walk away in victory better! God is always leading you where he wants you to be. And where he wants you to be is in the place where you will get better.

If you’ve asked why are you going through what you’re going through … maybe the answer is because you will be better for it. This is your opportunity to get better. Take it!

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