Faith Is Not always Easy!

God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. (James 1:12 NLT)

 

 

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“Facing Trials With Joy"

In the early days of Christianity, Christians were being persecuted for following Jesus Christ. “But Saul was going everywhere to destroy the church. He went from house to house, dragging out both men and women to throw them into prison.” (Acts 8:3 NLT). Those early Believers were experiencing confusion, fear, sorrow, injustice, loneliness, poverty, sickness, loss of home and family members, and livelihood--in fact, the Bible refers to it as "trials of many kinds."

Right now, in the midst of your suffering, whether it is physical, emotional, financial, is the very time to be putting your faith in Christ into practice."

I often think about the people I went to school with who are my age and wonder what trials they are going through. Then I think, if the apostle James were to be here, he might turn to me and say, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” (James 1:2-3 NIV)
 
Many of us associate that word trial with a great calamity. But notice how James describes these trials. First, he calls them “trials of various kinds.” We face year-long trials and five-minute trials. Trials that make us weep and trials that make us roll our eyes. Trials that kick our feet out from under us and trials that just step on our toes. We face big trials and small trials — trials of various kinds.
 
The trials James has in mind result in “the testing of your faith.” A cancer diagnosis tests your faith. A prodigal child tests your faith.  And rush-hour traffic tests your faith. Each of our various trials asks, “Will I trust God in this moment, or will I go my own way?”
The word trial applies not only to disasters and catastrophes, but also to those little, everyday troubles that press on our faith. Maybe we need to have an adequate view of suffering. I think the Apostle James is reminding us that your trial is not the time to rejoice less. Your sickness is not the time to pray less. Your loss is not the time to love others less. Rather, now is the very time to practice the joy, peace and love that we know to be the Christian life. James reminds us that what is happening in your life right now is the life of the servant of God and the Lord Jesus Christ. By leading you through a dozen discomforts every day (both big and small), they are invitations from your Father to become more like Jesus. They are the exercises your faith needs, given in just the right size and quantity. They are God’s way of fitting you for glory. I like what the late Billy Graham said, “Heaven is my real home, here, I’m just passing through.” All these trials build endurance in us!

http://faithisnotalwayseasy.com/devotion44.htm

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7.1.2018

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