This week, our church was invited to dive into the book of James, a chapter a day, Monday through Friday to ask God to restore relevance and hunger for His Word. You're invited to join us. I will be blogging this week on some ways that God is connecting each chapter with my heart. Feel free to add your own insights!
"Whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance; and let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing." James 1:2-4
Trials that lead to endurance lead to maturity. Ultimately that is a primary aim of the follower of Jesus...to grow more and more in Christ-likeness throughout their lifetime.
So here's how we fail. We experience adversity, difficulty and trial and it derails our faith. I know I experienced this when my dad died. I was ticked off at God for not hearing my prayers to make his dead heart beat again and it took me to a place of distance from God and bitterness to Him...and I would still be there if He didn't draw me back to Him. Alot of people don't responding to God's drawing during adversity...They check out...despise God and live out their days in some hollow form of what they could have or should have been...bitter...alienated...indifferent.
When our faith is derailed in times of adversity our growth is stunted.
Without my dad's passing, God would never have taken me to deeper waters, where He revealed to me that His desire was to make my own dead heart beat again, in the rhythms of his grace. Trials that are endured will take you to deeper waters with Christ...I know this is true...but I'm not ready to count it as Joy to encounter the trials!