Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Pure Joy

Don't you just love it when you face a trial?  Are you full of joy over struggles?  Does it excite you to face day after day of problems?  It makes me so happy to wake up to a day of stress knowing that God is in control.

OK no it doesn't.  I hate stress, I hate trials.  I would like to write the script of my life and have it flow along nice and smooth.  I would know all the answers, do all the right things, have all that I need and want and enjoy life to the fullest.  I would not write trials into my life.

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:2-4

Apparently despite my ideal life without trials James is insisting that I should in fact be joyful about my trials.  Was I joyful when we went through infertility?  No not so much, but I did persevere through the experience and I would definitely say that I am much more mature as a result.  In the end when I allowed God to walk me through that trial I did find much more joy in the process than when I fought against Him.

So today as John and I build a business and sit in the famine of our feast or famine business and wonder if there will ever be a stage of stability where our storehouses are full and we are prepared, I am trying to be joyful.  We are definitely developing lots of perseverance as we get up each morning and do the work trusting God to provide in time all that we need.  And you know the crazy thing.  He always does.  He has never failed us.  Yet at each famine we doubt, we fear, we question. Why?  Instead we are learning to trust and to persevere.

I love how the verse says that "perseverance must finish its work".  Perseverance is working.  Our growth comes from putting one foot in front of the other and keeping on moving forward.  Our maturity and completeness comes in doing the work.  Sometimes I wonder if perseverance will ever finish its work.  Will I ever be mature and complete?  Maybe yes and maybe no.  Maybe life is full of trials and we will never be complete until we are in heaven, there we will truly lack nothing.  So life is a process and it is our job to find joy as we walk along the road.

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