Sunday, 3 June 2007

James 1:2 - Joy in Challenges


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.


Paul's Thoughts said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Clive Smit said...

Hey Paul...

I believe that part of our problem is thinking that faith is the absence of doubt. I believe that faith is rather taking those steps in-spite of the doubts that we have!

Check out Mark 9:24 for a great example of someone struggling with doubt and holding onto faith simultaneously.

I believe that you have a great faith...
you stated that you don't know why you come back to church week after week...
I believe that it is your faith!

I believe that you don't need more faith... rather to recognize the great faith that you already posses!

Paul's Thoughts said...

Hi Clive,

I’m going to inventory my past, reverse to reactivate, return to read the road signs that will tell me where I have gone wrong. I must reverse down the track to the point where I saw more clearly, as I am at a dead end. Thanks for your comments Clive, particularly the repetition of “I believe”, in that when I walk back up the track, I need to affirm the beliefs acquired on my journey through life. Doubt did not come into my life by attacking these beliefs but it entered in through another door, in order to weaken the mind and try to take the thought life captive.

Doubt is crippling for a Christian, it is a most serious and critical state, requiring intensive care in a spiritual hospital. So many of the resources that the bible affords become blocked and extremely difficult to access. When doubt takes ground, one does not get that ground back without a fight. If someone is in a hospital bed and they are being attacked, they need someone else to step in to stop the blows. Thanks for stepping in Clive. Your prayer helped a lot, as God has created space for me to heal.