Tuesday, March 13, 2012
The book of James begins with a lesson on persevering through trials. Right out of the gate it says "consider it pure joy whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance" (James 1: 2 & 3). You will face trials of many kinds, and through them you will grow. Have you ever asked God to give you more patience? How about more peace, faith, or love? I can't say for sure, but I would guess that when you ask God to fill you with something that you lack (patience, kindness, self-control), He doesn't just pour it right in and fill you up. Chances are, if you ask Him for more patience He is going to put you in situations that test your patience. Probably, if you ask Him to make you more kind He is going to put in your presence someone who is very difficult to tolerate. If you ask Him to strengthen your faith, most likely you will soon find yourself in a situation that will require tremendous faith to get through to the other side. Our initial reaction in these situations is to react negatively and say, "but God, I asked you to give me more, not show me how much I lack!" But, if you take the opportunity to let these situations actually grow and strengthen you in patience, kindness, etc., you will persevere. Your patience will indeed grow, your faith will be strengthened, you will be more kind.
"Consider it pure joy whenever (when, not if) you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance." (James 1: 2 & 3)