“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” James 1:2-4 NLT
Trials are opportunities for us to depend on the person and presence of the Lord. In Him we experience joy in the midst of difficulty. God will use any, and every, situation in our lives to bring glory to Him and yield good to us when we place every circumstance in His care and trust Him. Faith that isn't tested can't be trusted. Anyone can say they love Jesus when the circumstances of life are comfortable and satisfying. It takes a deep rooted faith to endure hardships. I have often classified hardships in two categories:
1. Short term (acute) - things that are only experienced for a short period of time (auto breakdowns, routine surgeries and recovery, job transition, etc.) 2. Long term (chronic) - things that are experienced consistently over long a period of time (special needs care giving, physical disabilities, divorce and family dysfunction and restructuring, etc.) Everyone experiences short term crisis in their life. Some experience long term crisis. In either situation, our faith gets challenged and we struggle to keep our spiritual focus. When we simply place the challenges at the feet of Jesus and learn to trust Him in each and every specific, we develop godly character that becomes like bedrock. Through these hardships God can help us maintain our hope, strength, and courage if we look to Him and let Him teach us. As long as we are in this current world we will have trials. Jesus gave us this word: “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.””
John 16:33 NLT Today, let Jesus use your circumstances to bring Him glory and to teach you to trust Him. Every trial endured produces greater capacity for the next. Jesus has overcome for us. Let Him show you the way.
Rev. Curtis Norris