Wednesday, May 4, 2011
The Test for Patience
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you
face trial of many kinds because you know the
testing of your faith develops perseverance.
James 1:3 (NIV)
I have learned to love this scripture. For a long time, I focused on the first part of the passage. I couldn’t understand how I was supposed to ‘consider it pure joy’ when I had a child with special medical needs, when I had a family that, for the most part, seemed to not care about others without wanting something for themselves. Their habits and way of live now seem mostly unacceptable. I know now they all needed God in their lives.
One Sunday as I sat in church, the pastor read this scripture. My mind began to focus on the last part of the passage. All at once, the advice from James made perfect sense.
What I have learned is that God can use our trials and times of difficulties and uncertainty to teach us and refine us into what He wants us to be.
Friends of ours had a son and a daughter in the first Gulf War. Both parents found the time their children were in Saudi very difficult. The mother went through a terrible time of depression. The father had to manage their business but he still had doubts and some fears. Both the son and the daughter returned home safely. Their concern for their daughter was real. That daughter found simple things to be thankful for-things she and a lot of us had taken for granted. She married and found the Lord. She and her husband have two children. All four of them serve the Lord and are a pleasure to know.
We don’t desire the difficult times in our lives but when those times are behind us, with God on our side, we can remember how He guided us through and give Him thanks.