Saturday, April 2, 2011

Because

God tells us in His Word that when we encounter trials of many kinds, we are to consider it pure joy because we know that the testing of our faith develops endurance. And endurance's perfect result is that we become perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1: 2-4)

A closer look might be worthwhile because...well, you'll see...

When ~ Rest assured, He did not mean 'if.' It is only a matter of time, but we will encounter trials of many kinds in the course of our lives on earth.

Encounter ~ There is no way to avoid or escape said trials. They will meet us face-to-face, and we will have to deal with them.

Many Kinds ~ Trials come in all shapes and sizes, from health matters to financial problems to relationship issues to natural disasters. Every aspect of daily life - spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical - is fair game.

Consider ~ Think about these trials carefully, especially with regard to taking some action, according to one dictionary entry. Refrain from knee-jerk reactions in the heat of the moment; rather, deliberately contemplate how to respond in a way that is befitting a child of God.

Joy ~ So not a word that the world would employ to describe such trials, but it is exactly how God in His wisdom thinks and works. Instead of wailing and thrashing our way through the storms, let us choose to respond radically, not as the world responds, but with the spirit of joy He lavishly provides.

Because ~ This is too important to glide over, for it is here we are encouraged by the reason for the trials. That age-old question 'Why?' we are fond of asking is about to be answered. This little conjunction is the linch-pin that connects the pain to the purpose.

Testing ~ Heh. You thought you were finished with tests once you graduated from high school or college. Sorry. Tests are a fact of life finally and forever done with only when death arrives at our doorsteps. And yes, it's pass or fail.

Faith ~ Not a blind leap but a bold expression of belief in the One Who is able to stand in the furnace with us, to ride in the rocking boat with us, to dwell in the belly of the whale with us - and to deliver us.

Develops ~ Think photo lab for a minute. God - if we let Him - will take the negatives in our lives and transform them into positives, but it's a process that can only successfully take place in a dark room.

Endurance ~ More than just a good character quality, endurance is a timeless treasure. Once it is unburied and brought to light in our lives, we will be able to soar on wings like eagles, to run and not grow weary, to walk and not be faint. When troubles come and we are tempted to throw in the towel, to leave on a jet plane, to board the last train to Clarksville, our feet will be firmly planted. We will hang in there. We will endure.

Perfection and Completion ~ Okay, here's the reason, here's the answer that 'because' connects us to. This is the prize for staying the course. No more blemishes, no more brokenness. We will lack for nothing. We will not fall short. Glory to be to God for this beautiful gift.

So. Consider it all pure joy then. Because.

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