Aloha everyone! Again, I've been the worst blogger ever lately and I apologize! There's a heckuva lot going on but for the most part all is well. I wanted to share a verse I've recently been leaning on -- James 1:2-3.
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith develops perserverance. When troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow."
It certainly isn't human nature to "consider it pure joy" when tough times come around - and they always do. No matter how great life is, there will always be something around the bend that will test our faith and cause us to maybe freak out a little bit. However, if we listen to James, we know that every trial comes for a reason, and it's within the toughest of times that we grow up spiritually and that we develop true faith in God.
My pastor back home in Florida always says, "It's not how you act, it's how you react." It's about how we take life's rough patches and turn them into opportunities. Responding to conflicts & trials with joy and thanksgiving is the polar opposite of what we'd want to do, but it may just be the point we've all been missing.
Though perhaps it's easier to consider the trials pure joy after they've passed, after you've made it through in one piece. It might be two years down the road or a decade later before one can see the benefits of a particularly difficult era in life. Here's a hypothetical example: Say you spent way too much time, like say six years, on a relationship and then it didn't go anywhere. Eventually, you will see the benefits and experience GREAT JOY that you are no longer stuck with such an idiot for a significant other. Am I right? Have you ever looked back on trying times with great joy because of what you learned from them?
Y'all keep me on track when I'm facing trials... remind me about pure joy, opportunities and perserverance! I'll do the same for you!
Anyhow, have a great day and I'll be posting more soon!
Some additional verses on this topic that have popped up in the last few days:
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Finally, a great message from my pastor in Atlanta. Click on "When God Goes Dark" for some additional insight into faith and perserverance.
We all get weary. At some point in our Christian life, we just get tired of being good. After all, it seems like nobody else is, so why should we be? We try to have high moral standards. We do the right thing the right way only to watch others get ahead of us. At some point we all think to ourselves, When is God going to come through? If you've already experienced this, or are experiencing this now, listen to what God had to say to weary people through the prophet Isaiah.