Today I'm starting the book of James, found in the New Testament. Most believe that this was written by the brother of Jesus.
This book focuses on teaching practical living for Christian believers.
The first part of Chapter 1 is about the trials of life, which we all face from time to time. Verses 2 - 4 say, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perserverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything".
We don't often go into one of life's trials with a joyful attitude, but the Lord is speaking to us through James, that this is His way of facing them, and when we apply this attitude to our lives, it will only benefit us in every way.
Most of us can probably say that patience is not one of our virtues. We live in a society that has trained us to expect instant gratification for just about everything. We find ourselves saying, "God give me patience". Well if we ask him for that, we need to expect him to test us in it! How else will we learn patience if we don't experience something that requires it from us?
James says that our faith develops perseverance - the stronger we become in our faith in the Lord's faithfulness, the more mature we become spiritually.
I know there are several areas in my life right now that I consider trials. I am having some health issues that I'm trusting the Lord to get me through, and I think the hardest trial I face right now is one of anxiety regarding my son joining the U.S. Army and going off for basic training next week. I have to keep reminding myself that when my son was a young child, I dedicated him to the Lord, and just as I trusted the Lord to help me in raising him, I have to now put my trust in Him to protect my son - to strengthen him as a man, both spiritually and physically, so he will in turn, be able to face all the trials that will be in front of him over the next few years.
Pray for our sons and daughters who are serving this great country we live in. It is because of their service, that we have the freedoms that all to many take for granted.