Jas 1:2 ESV
(2) Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,
What a way to begin your letter to the Christians who are scattered among nations!
How is it possible to count rough, tough, downright depressing and strenuous times as the trigger for joy? Is this just cheap good for nothing religious talk?
No! As this joy was not based upon the immediate circumstances... but rather on what these circumstances would produce in us!
This joy had a future focus...
Too often we are blinded by the immediate. But God is calling us to look beyond the immediate (pain) and see the good that is being brought into our lives.
I need to stop in the midst of my challenges... take a deep breath... ask God to help me see beyond the uncomfortable present... and then begin to thank God for what this challenge (situations or persons) will produce in me.
Lord, this is all much easier said than done. Please help me to stop in the midst of challenges and to see your loving Hand guiding my growth. Help me not to resist your Hand...
May my challenge truly be a joy to me.
Be my strength when I am week.