There is something I have to do that I am dreading. stop trying to guess what it is. you will never guess :) anyway, I have been dreading this thing for a while. It is a trial for me. This morning I couldn't sleep because I just kept thinking about it. And then something very cool happened. The Word of God came to mind and it ministered to me in a very real way:
"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." James 1:2-4
Now if you have been a Christian for even a small amount of time you have probably heard this verse many times. But to hear something and to live it out are two very different things.
In fact, think about the two houses. One built on the sand and one built on the solid Rock. One fell to pieces when the storm (trials) came and one stood firm. What was the difference? Their foundation/what they put their trust in. When trials come, who or what we are trusting in is revealed. When Jesus spoke of these two houses He said they both HEARD the same word but the one that stood firm put what he heard into practice.
I want to put James 1:2-4 into practice. Do I trust God or not? Do I believe His Word or not? There are no middle-road answers to these questions. It's yes or no. Do I want to look like the house above? Or do I want to stand firm under trials counting them all joy?
I am choosing to count this trial as PURE JOY because I want to put God's Word into action. Trust AND obey. God is calling me to count my trials as joy and the world is calling me to count them as... well... trials. Who will I obey? Which voice will be louder and eventually win? It's up to me.
I also love how it says to count trials of MANY KINDS as joy. Trials come in all sorts of costumes. Some scarier than others. Some more detrimental and life-changing but all are to be counted as joy by the Christian. Christ Himself counted the cross as a joy because of what it meant. I will count my trials joy not because I enjoy them but because of what it will mean. Trials test my faith and when my faith is tested and I pass the test perseverance is produced. When perseverance has finished it's work I will be mature and complete, lacking nothing! hello! lacking nothing?! sounds good to me :)
The world tells us we need lots of things to lack nothing. The Word of God tells us persevering through trials and counting them as joy will cause us to lack nothing. Again, I am faced with opposing views. Which one will I embrace?
I will embrace His! His view is the right view. The better view. The eternal view.
After the Lord ministered to me this morning through His Word I was able to fall back asleep. I was able to THANK HIM genuinely for this future trial rather than dread it. I am counting it all joy and I am thankful to Him that through this He will work to make me complete.