Kynn and I have the priviledgeof teaching, along with my sister Cynthia, the newlywed Sunday School Class at Shandon Baptist Church. On Wed. nights, Cynthia hosts the ladies Bible Study in her home. We have such a great time of Bible Study and fellowship. This year we have done several topical studies and for the next few weeks we are going to study the book of James.
Last night, and again this morning, I have begun reading James 1. James just puts it out there, right in the beginning. Real fast like.
James 1: 2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete not lacking anything. "
How many time have I read or heard this verse? A lot! But today, my heart is very tender toward this verse, because I am in a trial and so many people that I love are facing trials.
Earl is facing the reality that his father is no longer here. The reality of grief.
My dear friend has medical issues.
Keleigh's little girl has leukemia
A friend is dealing with a teenage child who is in rebellion.
Kynn's brother has Parkirnson's
A friend with big time relationship issues
Friends waiting and waiting for their house to sell
All of these are hard. Real hard.
We are not to be surprised by these trials, because God's word tells us we will have trials. I just did not want the trial today. Nor tomorrow for a matter of fact. But as I think about all of this, I do want to stand blameless and complete before him when he calls me home. Therefore, I must persevere allowing the growth of character. I read this today, "We can't really know the depth of our character until we see how we react under pressure." God wants to make us mature and complete, not to keep us from all pain. Instead of complaining about our struggles, we should see them as opportunities for growth. ?" Ouch!!! Growth anyone?
Thank you Father. We all have Hope! We can be called blessed.
VS. 12 "Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. "
If you have a trial today, be encouraged.