Advancing the Conversation of Jesus
GOT A MINUTE?
The book of James begins with a section on trials. It’s something everyone faces from day to day and especially those who were living outside Jerusalem who might easily get discouraged when their new faith is attacked even by other religious people in their communities, let alone those outside the fellowship of faith. I see this as a time of lifting the faith of believers outside of Jerusalem. So, when you need a faith-lift, what do you do? I think the answer is REFOCUS.
FIRST: REFOCUS BY REJOICING IN THE PRODUCT!2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have itsperfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. Are you serious? Count it all joy when you face a variety of trials in your life?
There is a way of refocusing so that no matter what comes your way, you may be able to reframe it to see the good in it. There are two kinds of temptations or testings. One has to do with tripping you up-to trick you into doing something wrong. The other is to test with the view toward approval-to prove you as genuine! When you are faced with a test that might trip you up, God wants you to view it as a test of genuineness.
Don’t focus on the trial or testing itself. You’ll end up wallowing in it-the problem will get bigger and bigger! Instead, focus on the end-product! “Here comes another testing or trial. What will I learn from this?” James says the primary thing you will gain from trials is perseverance. The testing of your faith produces perseverance-the ability to hang in there and get through it. And, if you allow perseverance to have its way, you will be more mature and complete in your life-lacking in nothing! WOW!
Therefore, when a trial comes your way, refocus and look for what’s in there to make you more mature and complete to the point of lacking in nothing! This goes along with that promise of good endings-Romans 8:28, where God causes all things to work together for good!
NOTE when you brood over your problems, you’ll hatch despair!NOTE that many times you’ll find yourself being overwhelmed by problems that aren’t that big-like mountain climbing over molehills!NOTE-it’s not what happens to you, but how you handle what happens that counts most!