Thursday, March 18, 2010

Considering the joy in the storm

James 1:2-18

Trials and Temptations

2.Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds,

3.because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.

4.Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

5.If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.

6.But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.

7.That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord;

8.he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.

9.The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position.

10.But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wild flower.

11.For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business.

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.

13.When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;

14.but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.

15.Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

16.Don't be deceived, my dear brothers.

17.Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

18.He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
Considering it joy in the midst of the trial or storm is not easy.  In our current situation, it is hard.  Mike's job is in the threat of lay off EVERY DAY! As we face this battle, this test, we have stumbled and tripped and made some mistakes in dealing with it. We have let the stress get to us.  Counting it joy, does not mean it doesn't hurt and it is easy.  Counting it joy means we know the one who IS in control.  Knowing that truly every good and perfect gift does come from Him.  What seems like something bad and hard, may very well turn out to be a greater gift than you could ever imagind.  That is what I am trusting.  That my God, my Lord, my King is going to help us persevere.  That the mistakes we have made in dealing with the stress is far less than the joy on the other side of this trial. 

I purpose in my heart to walk through this with joy and grace and not let the enemy win through attacks of fear and despair.  I will not be be tempted by fear and frustration, nor will I let it grow.  I will walk with purpose and faith and joy through this trial.  God did not CAUSE this but He will lead us through it.  I will purpose in my heart to pray for Mike differently, more ferverently, more often, with greater understanding.  The full weight of what happens during lay off is on my husband's shoulders. While I do feel stress as well, as the sole provider of the house hold income my husband is facing so much more than I can grasp.  I pray for my Lord to undergird him and uphold him with HIS righteous right hand. God alone will get the glory through this. 
I purpose in my heart to trust even when there seems to be no way.  I purpose to stay true to my Lord and count it all joy and know that on the other side of it, I will have grown and Mike will have grown.  God is faithful, all we have to do is rest in that promise and all the promises He has made to His children


Burkulater said...

I have this passage memorized...not because I'm good at memorizing, but because I've reading a gazzilion times! It is such a promising passage. He is with us through it all.