March 30, 2011

Count It All Joy? Really?

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4 ESV)

I love seeing the wisdom of God in His Word! I love how He uses what the enemy means for evil for His glory and our eventual good. Think about it. He has to allow you to be tested. He has to allow you to be tried. Nothing happens in this world or our lives that God doesn’t sovereignly allow. Watch how God, in the lives of believers, uses the enemy’s tools against him.

The enemies, sin in you (the flesh) and Satan, are so blinded by their desire to destroy you that they will jump at any chance God allows them to in order to destroy your life. I love the imagery in Genesis 4:7 where God tells Cain that sin is crouching at the door and its desire is for you [to destroy you]. They are so blinded by their desire to destroy you that they cannot see how God could and will use this to draw you to Himself.

God allows a thorn in Paul’s flesh, a messenger from Satan, to plague him with whatever it was so that Paul would remain humble. In remaining humble, Paul maintained a deep, intimate relationship with God (James 4:6; 1 Pet 5:5). So, the tool that the enemy meant to stop or slow Paul down only served to draw him to Christ and know Him in ways he may not otherwise have.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Cor. 12:9)

We don’t rejoice because we’re suffering or being persecuted or we’re going through a tough season of life. We rejoice in the fact that we have an opportunity to know Christ in a way we might not have had this situation not come about. So, brothers and sisters (I’m preaching to myself here too), I know it’s easier said than done, but when life hits you hard… run to Christ! Allow Him to grow you. Allow Him to change you.

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. (James 1:12 ESV)

What test or trial have you gone through where God has really showed himself to you in a deeper way?

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