Monday, January 12, 2009

Trials + Testing = Perseverance

What a day! I watched for it, prepared myself, knew it was coming(but hoped I had been wrong). Times of great spiritual growth are most often followed by difficult times of trial and testing. Times that require you to put what you have been learning into practice. James the half brother of Jesus had this to say,
2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Pure joy? Sign me up. Mature, oh how I want that more than anything. As a woman in pursuit of a passionate relationship with God, words like mature, complete, not lacking anything describe the type of woman I want to be. But I have to be honest and say that if the local college was offering a free course next semester that promised all of the trials and temptations you could stand, I think I would probably pass (pass meaning not taking the course).

During a recent stretch of difficult days that seemed to have no end, my husband came home at the end of each day saying these words, "And the hits just keep on coming!" Have you ever felt like that in your own life? Like no matter which way you turned another shoe was about to drop? How can we have that "pure joy" that James was speaking about?

If I come home from shopping tomorrow to find that someone has broken into my home and taken all of my things, I'm not going to be very happy. But when I take a deep breath and realize that no one was hurt, God had removed me from the situation and possibly from harms way, I can find reason to praise Him in the midst of trying times.

Tough times can teach us to persevere, teach us to stand on the precepts and promises of God's Word. It's times like this when our true character comes to the surface. I have a friend who always says, "Who you are is what comes out of you when you are squeezed". Think about that. Do trials, testing and tough times bring out the best in you..., or the worst? Do your thoughts go to "Woe is me..." or "Wow is God!" (as Jill Briscoe would say)?

Pastor Matthew said these words on Sunday, "A faith cannot be trusted that has not been tested".

Thank you God for giving me the opportunities today to grow into the woman you want me to be. Though my flesh may cry out, "Woe is me...", I stand amazed and declare "Wow is my God"! Thank You for turning an attack of Satan on my family into the blessing I have been praying for! What a "God thing"!


Jamie said...


That was just what I needed today. Thank you! I need to remember that as well, that even if my home is robbed at least no one got hurt even if I have nothing left. But then again we always have God, so we always have the best possession.

Carol said...

Hello Lisa, this is a lovely post and it reminds me of the scriputre where Paul says to reach forward to those things which are ahead and press towards the goal. The goal of Jesus. Tough times help us to do this. 2008 was a 'not so nice' year for me and so I am glad to forget what is behind and push forward into 2009 together with my Lord Jesus.
Thanks for sharing.
Your blog is a real blessing.

Ginger said...

Hi Lisa,
I'm visiting from Beth at "Just Me". I love your blog. Your words rang so true! Boy have I had those woe is me days, and seasons in my life when those hits just kept coming but I much prefer the Wow is God! How great is our God? He is so good and always there. Thank you so much for sharing.