Unexpected Gifts

Call me crazy, but I’m memorizing the book of James. After one month, I know about 90% of chapters 1 and 2 which is good for a 50+ woman who used to memorize whole books in a single bound.

James 1:2 and 3 is a sort of oxymoron. “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”

How do joy and trials work together? It’s a God thing. All good things are God things.

I’m facing a trial right now. Probably, you are too. The question is, how do we live these verses out?

We live out God’s Word by believing God’s Word. In other words, we move on to part B:

“Because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”

According to Beth Moore, (my new best friend) the first definition of perseverance or endurance is “nerving oneself” as in trying to stay on your feet. I can understand that since my husband is a professional fisherman. And once upon a time, I was his deckhand.

On rough days, I did aerobics all day. As the boat moved one way, I moved the other, just to stay on my upright. I was exhausted, but I persevered through those rough days.

The second definition means “heroic endurance.” That’s a great term. Thanks, Beth.

Putting those two together, we hold on to Jesus in a balancing act that keeps us upright. And as we hold onto Him, He produces endurance in us. We know this by verse 4:

“Let perseverance finish its work in you so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

I don’t know about you, but I lack a whole bunch. Mostly wisdom about this trial. James has an answer to that, too. Verse 5 states:

“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”

I’m asking. I’m pleading. He’s answering. Generously.

In fact, this trial is a gift that will pay dividends down the road. Maybe in a few months. Maybe in a few years, or I might have to wait until heaven. I’m okay with that as long as I trust and don’t doubt.

Check out verse 6 to find out why.

For today, I’m going to hold onto Jesus. He gives me sure footing in a world that is as rough as the Gulf of Mexico.

Hold on, friend. Believe and don’t doubt. Trials are beloved gifts to conform us to the image of Christ.

How could I pray for you? Message me. We can face that rough water together.




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