January 20, 2011

Count it all Joy

It must be providential that God has me in the book of James right now. After each of us taking turns being sick a couple of weeks ago, and then recovered, we find some of us sick again. You know you're the mom of young kids when it seems there's a perpetual bug going around.

As well, part of me is feeling especially anxious because my husband and I are preparing to leave them for 2 weeks (with Grandparents) and go to England for more MAF training. If you know me, you will know that even the thought of leaving them for that long is difficult, and the idea that they may not be 100% healthy is even more unbearable to me.

But the Lord says, "Count it all joy when you face trials of many kinds." (James 1:2) I was encouraged by another blogger as she observed James specifically says when. There is no question that life is going to bring trials. No ifs, simply when. And what is the purpose of these trials? Surely we do not happen upon trials simply for making our lives interesting. There is a divine purpose to our trials [of many kinds]. And James also doesn't specify the severity of our trials. It can be anything that causes us to feel uneasy, stressed, anxious, scared, tired, or angry. (And the list probably goes on.) The trial also doesn't have to be universally difficult for everyone. Something I find difficult in my life may be a "peace of cake" for you, or vice versa.

Usually when a trial comes our way we find ourselves wanting help, or a way out, or a resource of some kind to ease the uncomfortableness. James assumes that trials will test our faith, and very often that is the case. Perhaps without verbalizing it we wonder things like "Where is God now?" "I thought He loved me." "Why is this happening to me?" When our faith is tested this way and we ask questions like this, they demand answers.

"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. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind." James 1:2-6

Purpose of the Trial: Tests our faith to (hopefully) develop perseverance (character building)
Help we need to ask for: Spiritual wisdom (discernment) founded on God's truth, the Bible.
What we need to DO: After asking for wisdom, we need to keep believing in God's truth--study it, meditate upon it, so we stay rooted and founded on something sure.

So, if trials cause us to go back to God's Word and stand even more solidly upon His promises and instruction, that will give us Joy! We can rejoice in knowing God wants to equip us, God wants to strengthen us, and God ultimately wants to be glorified through us as we take steps to trust in Him more day by day.

1 comment:

Angela said...

Thanks for linking up with us over at GoodMorningGirls! Please know that I'm praying that everyone will be feeling well very soon! I'll also pray for protection over everyone with your upcoming trip to England. :)

Love God Greatly!