Monday, February 11, 2019

Joy at the finish line.

Count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing 
that the testing of your faith produces patience.  James 1:2-3

   When I ponder James’s comment concerning suffering, it is hard to accept. God uses our suffering and hardship to develop perseverance and build our faith?  And this is to bring joy? How?
   To see these trials produce results in our lives, we need to undergo a radical reorientation.  Cultural critic Francis Schaeffer observed that most of us supremely value “personal peace and affluence.”  Anything that gets in the way of those values is, to say the least, unwelcome. That is me!  But in the Kingdom of God, those things aren’t all that valuable, and in fact, they can get in the way of what God truly values.  He treasures our faith in Him through thick and thin, but He knows faith is built most effectively in times of difficulty.  For that reason, God, our loving and attentive Father, allows or orchestrates problems in our lives so that we learn to trust Him.
    I need to fix my eyes on Jesus the author and perfecter of my faith, who for the joy set before Him, endured the cross. Scorning its shame......(Heb 12)
    Every obstacle, every annoyance, and every genuine heartache in our lives is part of God’s curriculum to produce persistent, tenacious, rich, deep trust in Him.  Patience isn’t killing time until we experience more personal peace and affluence.  It’s riveting our affections on God and His purposes every moment of every day.
  I pray for the ability to lean on all times...and find joy in Him at the finish line.