Summer 2024

THE INCREASE: Ikki Soma - Your Pain Has Purpose

“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

My eldest daughter plays college volleyball and is studying to be a strength coach. She’s benefitted so much from strength training that she wants to help other athletes. My wife and I built a weight room in our house, so my daughters have grown up lifting weights and conditioning.

I’m sure there were times in which I put my daughter through a grueling, painful workout and she wondered, “Does my dad love me? Why is he putting me through this pain?”

On the walls of our weight room we’d record her progress on charts. She saw that she was deadlifting 50 pounds more than she was a few months before. She saw her vertical jump go up by seven inches. She saw her play on the volleyball court improve as well. It was then when she began to realize that there was a purpose to the pain she was experiencing. Her dad indeed did love her.

How do you respond when your Heavenly Father allows you to go through trials and difficulties? Do you believe that a loving God has a purpose for your pain? The Christians to whom James writes were going through a variety of painful trials. In the midst of those trials, they were to count it all joy. Why should we count it all joy? Because the result of enduring trials is our spiritual progress and maturity.

— Ikki Soma, chaplain for the Houston Rockets