The book of James has been "In My Face" a lot for the past two weeks. My sis-in-law Kathy and I have been discussing it quite a bit as we seek patience for the things in our lives. And then again, James came up in Sunday's sermon.
I guess this is a sign for me to get serious about what James had to say. So I'll start at the start. And it is my goal to memorize these two verses.
I will memorize the above version - New King James - because that is my most used Bible - but I also like how the NIV says it "2-Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3-because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance." I'd like to persever through my trials AND come out with patience! And also the version from The Message "Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors."
No matter what version it comes from - we are to be grateful and HAPPY to face trials & challenges because it will strengthen us if we can have patience, perseverance & faith!
When you're waiting for something, when things aren't going your way or when you are feeling like your are going through something with no end in sight, we start praying to God to speed things up. Time goes so slow, almost backwards, while we wait on Him to solve whatever it is we are waiting for, experiencing or facing! It can be hard to look beyond our own time frames & look to God's.
We might think that we have plenty of patience & that, OK God, you proved your point - here I am being patient - when really, He's only just begun this little life lesson of testing. Some of us Falter, Fume or Forget! All the wrong f-words for those of us who should be Focusing on FAITH. Faith that God's timing is better than our own. Faith that we are growing because of this. Faith that we can lean on Him when we are waiting! And Faith that all of these things are drawing us nearer to Him...which is the ultimate goal. So, despite of our impatience, when the trials come, we really SHOULD embrace them joyfully, like a gift that, though it may be hard, we are going to come out of it stronger & closer to God!
I can't say I'm excited about my trials or impatience, but I'm certain that God is with me while I wait on His time & that my faith can grow stronger as I look to him for the end of the test.