Being Battle Tested


How does God bring out the warrior in a man?  It’s typically through hardship, trials and tribulation.  James 1:2-4 says, “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.”  

I know for me my spiritual growth has come through my hardships.   A divorce about seven years ago put me through my greatest test.  Many people become bitter when hardship is placed in their path.   It’s a choice we have to make when life doesn’t turn out the way we expect it to and it usually never does. 

If we don’t find meaning for our pain and suffering and if we don’t use our pain to do good in the world, it will end up crushing us.  As I was sitting through a church service one Sunday morning as I was right in the thick of my divorce my pastor was talking about pain.  He said something I will never forget and it altered the course of my life from that point forward.  He said whatever pain you are going through in your life right now, embrace every ounce of it and use it to do good.  I made a decision on that day that the pain of my divorce would be used to make a difference in other people’s lives. 

We all have pain in our life at some point.  I don’t know what you are walking through right now, but my prayer for you is that you somehow find purpose in your pain.  In Romans 8:28, a scripture I recite to myself often says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”  I have seen that come to fruition in my life. 

Through my pain God has transformed my heart.  He continues to work in me and through me.  Since my divorce God has worked through me in the following capacaties:

  • Led community groups at my church.
  • Published a book on Amazon that honors my father called, “I Never Promised You a Rose Garden”.
  • Started a fitness ministry.
  • I have a weekly podcast called the Divine Wellness Academy.
  • Written an article in Faith and Fitness magazine
  • Started a Faith and Fitness class at a local church
  • Started a men’s discipleship program called Bible and Barbells
  • Started a public speaking career

I tell you this as a way of encouragement and hope, that God can use you through your pain if you allow him to.  We grow through pain.  It is part of our warrior training.

I pray every day that God gives me the strength, patience and perseverance to rise up and accept my warrior training.  I pray that when I doubt myself,  God will give me His grace and encouragement to continue the battle because the recovery of the warrior is absolutely critical to the recovery of the heart of a man. 

A warrior heart is hard wired into the DNA of every man.  We need you to fight the good fight.  To not be passive and get out there and make a difference in the world.  We are meant to act and to not be passive.  We need you fully alive, because the glory of God is man fully alive. 

If you are struggling to find purpose for your pain, I am here to help.  The biggest mistake men make is to go into isolation when they are struggling or losing hope.  A true sign of strength and grit is reaching out for help when you are struggling.  I would be honored to be a part of your tribe to help you reclaim your inner warrior.  Please reach out to me at to see how we can partner together on your journey to having more vitality, adventure and purpose in your life.

Troy Ismir, MS

Spiritual Warrior


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