Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Faith in Action – Part 2 - Joy in Trials

James 1:2-4 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

Pastor Kyle points out that the testing of our faith is a part of the journey; the process of refining and purification, teaching and training by experience in the broken, yet blessed paths and roads that we walk in life … turning trials into joy because, though we may not understand now, they are a launch pad into what God wants to do in us, and through us, and around us. It’s a faith lived. But, when was the last time that you considered a trial a joy, or a bad thing as a good thing because God put it there to help you out? We wonder why everything cannot just be healthy, happy and normal. But, part of the walk with the Lord is to find a blessing in every burden, to find the capacity to worship when it is easier to worry, to praise God when we’d rather cry. Life happens. Trials touch us to shape us to be better people. The pain that we go through in life brings gain for us and for the people around us, who are living through similar trials, so we can minister to them and touch their lives also.

2 Corinthians 5:6-9Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord — for we walk by faith, not by sight —  we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord. Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.”

Sooner or later, God’s going to give us a new perspective. We get to a place where we see that whatever happens in life (even the hard times) are a good thing … there is a gold nugget in there for us. What if we view trials as a good thing from the beginning, saying: “I wonder what I’m going to learn from this one?” They give us more tools in our belt of experience to work with. Why should we choose to live our lives “bummed out”, when the Lord could call us home and this life could be all over tomorrow? Why not live it with a positive perspective before God, because if we go down, we go up! We only have one life to live, so why not live in the power of steadfastness, to hang in there and stick with it. Can we do it another day more? Sometimes, we have to just keep our head down and plow forward, trusting in God to get us through, then lift our head. God is not the co-pilot or in the passenger seat of our life; hand over the steering wheel, give control to the Lord and allow Him to refine us as pure gold.

Zechariah 13:9 “And I will bring the third part through the fire, refine them as silver is refined, and test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, and I will answer them; I will say, 'They are My people,’' and they will say, 'The Lord is my God.’”

In Christ, Brian

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