|How do you fare? "A" plus?|
|Or do you fail the test?|
"Count it all joy, my brothers when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect
and complete, lacking in nothing."
This is really not something that I like to think about. Trials, you know. But interestingly enough, the greatest joy that I experience in life often comes from the trials that come along. I don't ask for them; they come often enough without having to ask. So if you have not experienced much in the way of trials and are looking for greater joy, just wait. They will come!
We touched on two things in these verses: trials and joy. An interesting combination it is. Why do trials bring joy? And when do they bring joy?
They bring joy because they are a test of our faith. Indeed they are. I heard many say about 9/11 that God had deserted us. Some refused to believe in a God that would allow such atrocities to happen. Others began to question their faith. No joy was theirs; for those who "professed" to believe, when their faith was tested, threw in the towel.
Various trials bring joy when we are steadfast. We cling to the promises of God. We look back at the trials of our forefathers and say with David:
I am still confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.
A great promise follows when we hold on steadfastly; we are mature and complete and lack nothing. It seems so out of the norm, so opposite what we think in our finite minds. And yet God says that maturity and completeness in our lives comes from enduring with joy the trials that are set before us.
This is a hard subject to write about, seeing that even knowing that trials produce completeness in my life, I still dread them and think that I would rather not go through them. And yet from past experience I know that as I trust the Lord , He does all things for my good and His glory.
Enduring, believing, hoping,