A prospective runner doesn’t just jump right into a marathon, to do so would be setting him or herself up for failure. Instead, he/she trains and participates in smaller races first, in order to build up strength and endurance. Likewise, believers are tested through various trials and temptations, not as a means of elimination, but in order to strengthen our faith and build up our endurance. Additionally, these tests of faith develop spiritual maturity and wisdom in us. All necessities for us to finish our race. God didn’t blind side us with this. We are forewarned that we will have tribulation (John 16:33, Romans 5:3) and that trials will come (James 1:2, 1 Peter 4:12, 1 Peter 1:7). However, we receive encouragement in the fact that, before we even approach the finish line, we already know that we win, if we don’t quit beforehand. Our prize? The crown of life.