I’m glad that, after some treatment for my nasal congestion, that I woke up this morning feeling much better. That was good because I need to be up early to head to Denver. I open the House session in prayer on “Anti-Human Trafficking Day.” It was good to visit and to take care of some “lobbying” business while I was there. I was glad I was able to return home by early afternoon and get some rest. The House Chambers has been renovated to return them to an earlier time period. A sky light is now in the center of the Chambers, along with the historic chandelier.
BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY… “Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.” James 1:2-4 HCSB
As James opens his letter, he presents a significant challenge. “Consider it a great joy…..whenever you experience various trials.” The words, “great” and “various” get my attention. It is one thing to say, “be joyful in suffering for Christ.” But James says consider it a “great” joy in the midst of all kinds of trials. So, it seems to indicate those that come from being faithful to Christ and those that come as just a part of life.
James says the reason for the proper attitude in trials, is that trials, require endurance and endurance brings maturity. Later in his letter James says, “…we count as blessed those who have persevered….” (James 5:11 NV) He uses Job as an example. Job at the end of his grueling time of suffering learned something about himself and about God that he did not know before. I don’t compare myself to Job, but I do know my “trials” revealed something to me about myself and God.
James says, the “one who endures is blessed.” “A man who endures trials is blessed, because when he passes the test he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.” (James 1:12 HCSB) Paul’s attitude reflected this, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” (Romans 8:18 NIV) At times we need to look beyond this life in the midst of our trials, in order to keep our perspective.
Then it is important for us to understand the source of our trials. “No one undergoing a trial should say, “I am being tempted by God.” For God is not tempted by evil, and He Himself doesn’t tempt anyone.” (James 1:13 HCSB) James goes on to say, we are “tempted by your own lust.” We also see trial can come from living in a “fallen world.” They can come from our spiritual enemy as well. What we can observe is that, “God doesn’t cause, but He uses trials in our life, for our good and His glory.”
Faith and endurance grow by the test of life. We don’t seek or look for trials, because they will come in sufficient quantity and intensity as part of life. Remember, what is exercised (put under stress) becomes stronger. When trials
do come, we can know that the Lord is with us in the midst of the “battle.” We can be confident that when we endure trials, we don’t do so alone.