Friday, August 23, 2013

Trials

Trials, we all have them, right?  Sometimes more than others, sometimes more heavy than others.  As of late, it seems like I have several friends going through heavy trials, with kids, sickness, jobs, alcohol, etc.  Recently I've been faced with a few trials.  They seem minor compared to my friends, but still, on some days, really major in my world.  As I've wanted to encourage friends during this time, I've looked for scripture on trials, words of wisdom, or encouragement.  One favorite is in James 1:2-8

2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.

I was telling a friend not long ago that I thought he was missing the boat on finding the joy in his trial, on giving thanks for his trial.  Not wanting to be a hypocrite, as I drove to work this morning, I took some time to thank God for my trials, for what he is teaching me, for how he is maturing me and showing me His plan for my life.  It's not easy when you are beat up to find the joy and to give thanks, but the peace that gave me and the perspective it gave me to pray that is tremendous.  It takes away a little of the pity party and instead gives me a burst to push through to the other side. 

As I've studied this passage, I was also comforted seeing wisdom offered in Verse 5, because what are we searching for during most trials, wisdom.  And we are promised this wisdom if we ask for it. 

Verse 6 is hard, because I doubt sometimes whether my wisdom is coming from my own brain and desires or from God and His will and desires for my life.  So the prayer becomes a request for wisdom along with confidence that the Holy Spirit is involved and guiding my mind. 

Then, what do I find today, as I read on in Verse 12?  12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
 
So he closes it out with the biggie, the promise of eternal life, the promise that if we trudge through, if we fight the fight, and persevere, we are promised life with Him.  What a blessing, what hope, what a gift. 

You know my other secret for perseverence thorough trials?  God has blessed me with the best family and friends a girl could ask for.  I have Christian parents and sisters standing ready to help me fight, along with friends that would make you jealous.  That kind that pray for you whenever you ask and when you don't, love you when you are dumb, listen to you when you are dumber, and love love love you through it all.

Yup, I'm blessed.  Thank you, Lord.   

1 comment:

Sarah Shumate said...

I've missed your blog posts! I'm sorry to hear you're struggling with something right now, but it sounds like you've got a good handle on it and lots of support. :o)

I've also got friends struggling with some pretty major things right now. It certainly makes my own troubles pale in comparison. It's all about the perspective!