Our verse for today comes from James 1:2-3, ” Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. “
I guess one might say that there are a lot of reasons that we fail in our walk with Christ. Willful disobedience, too much pride, weakness in a certain area, lack of faith. These all could be cited as to why someone may have stumbled and sinned. But I would say that these are not the reasons that we fail, but rather, we fail in our walk because we are failures. Created by God to glorify and reflect God, we fail to do so through our willful disobedience, and the myriad of other expressions of our selfish and rebellious nature. And one particular shortcoming that resides all too comfortably in so many of our hearts is the tendency to dismiss God’s words as hyperbole. We are so used to the status quo of our relationship with Christ, that when we read the authoritative, dynamic promises and commands of Scripture, we blow right past them as if we were reading a candidate’s campaign promises. We take the counter-cultural thinking and guarantees of supernatural workings presented to us by God and water them down to be nothing more than hopeful platitudes and words to encourage us to try harder and do better. Such is the way we deal with the words of James.
For how many times have you experienced joy when you are in the midst of trials? When has your best friend shared with excitement the challenge that is beating on their faith? And how much confidence do we have that what we are going through can make us mature and complete, lacking nothing? No, we whimper and moan. But God has said that the trials are attacking our faith, and when we choose not to believe what He can accomplish through them, then we are defeated, and victory and maturity escape our grasp. God doesn’t say things He doesn’t mean. Knowing that He has us on a path that can make us like His Son is reason for joy. Knowing that perseverance can bring me all that He has for me is reason for joy. But dismissing the grandness of His words is cause to stumble. Rejoice in what God is doing in you. Rejoice that you know why.
As we seek Him today, find joy where God tells you there is joy to be found. Persevere where steadfastness is exactly what He is requiring of you.