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Consider it...

It is interesting that most of us when we start to suffer through some difficulty immediately begin to complain to God and others. “Where are you Lord?” “Did you forget me?” “You could prevent this Lord.” “Why aren’t you protecting or providing for me?” It is our natural instinct to flee or fight against stress and difficulties. But James says: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:2-4).

These are hard words for any of us to hear. Yet, we need to take this to heart. If we really want to grow in our faith, know God more intimately, and become more like Christ in our character, we have to expect and accept that God often uses difficulties, trials, and suffering to change us. It is not that He delights in making us suffer, but He knows that we often will not give up our sinful ways and un-Christ-like manner unless we go through these struggles. Ironically, we often blame God when we are actually the ones who brought the difficulty on in the first place. Thus, let us go back to Paul’s words in Philippians 2:14: “Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you will become blameless and pure.”

People are watching us. A response of faith and thanksgiving during trials could be the very thing that brings our family members or neighbors to Christ.

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