…is that we get so few opportunities to exercise it.
We often seem to think (and I am guilty of this too, more often than I care to admit) that if I am in the center of God’s will, everything will be fine.
That the test of the lack of faith is the presence of problems, and that the absence of difficulty indicates strength of spiritual character.
It seems to me that the opposite is more likely true.
Jesus said that we would have troubles in the world, but to be of good cheer for he had overcome the world. He promised to walk with us through the shadow of the valley of death. He did not promise we would not be tempted but rather that we would be delivered from temptation.
God is less interested in the problems that we face and more interested in how we respond to them, I think.
God is less interested in clearing out problems and more interested in forming our character, our patience, our charitable natures.
Perhaps if we want to strengthen our faith (and our faithfulness) we need to aim ourselves at situations where we are likely to encounter difficulty while doing God’s work, rather than at situations in which we will be “preserved.”
Too many saints may be arriving in heaven in a heavily pickled state.