Monday, May 3, 2010

The Attitude of Your Heart Towards Your Trouble

James 1:2 "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience."

I love this verse. It is one that often brings comfort to those facing difficult circumstances in life. I wanted to take a closer look to see if I could gain more insight into this scripture. Thanks to the help of my study Bible, my husband, and commentaries here is what I found.

Count it all joy
. The greek word for count may also be translated "consider" or "evaluate." What is your natural human response to trials? Not to rejoice, right? It is easier to have a doom and gloom attitude towards them. That is why we must remind ourselves to face each one with joy. It is not something that will always come naturally, me must be conscious about it!

The Greek word for trial connotes trouble or something that breaks the pattern of peace, comfort, joy and happiness in someone's life. The verb form of this means to put someone or something to the test with the purpose of discovering that person's nature or that thing's quality. God brings such tests to prove--and increase--the strength and quality of one's faith and to demonstrate its validity. For example, if an athlete never works his or her muscles they will not grow stronger and not improve in their sport. Every trial becomes a test of faith designed to strengthen: if the believer fails the test by wrongly responding, that test then becomes a temptation, or a solicitation to evil.

This is a very interesting fact that I did not know until my husband shared it with me. The word trial and temptation are the same word in the greek. It can either be from God who is proving our faith, or from Satan who is trying to destroy our faith. Another good reason to press on with faith, my dear sister!

Testing means "proof" or "proving." Patience...better translated "endurance" or "perseverance." Through a test, a Christian will learn to withstand tenaciously the pressure of a trial until God removes it at His appointed time and even cherish the benefit. (It's important to note that God does not give us trouble for troubles sake, there is a purpose in mind).

Perfect. Not a reference to sinless perfection, but to spiritual maturity. The testing of faith drives believers to deeper communion and greater trust in Christ--qualities that in turn produce a stable, godly, and righteous character.

My girlfriends, life is constantly throwing trials at us. We do not need to know the source of the trial, but we do need to know the source of our strength through the trial. When the waves of life are buffeting you, look to God and He will get you through. Once on the other side you will be more spiritually mature, and have more of the abundant life (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control)!

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