Saturday, November 20, 2010

"Count It All Joy"

I recently had a real test of my character. Not a single encounter or event, but a long term test - months long. It has ended in failure on my part. Epic failure. I'm saddened and disappointed in myself for the lost opportunity. I'm humbled by my failings, and am resolved to work on them, strengthening myself in order that I may do better in the future. In a way, this situation has revealed chinks in my spiritual armor that I did not know existed. I understand James 1:2-4 with much more clarity than ever before:

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (ESV)

I find myself weakened, but in a way, stronger than ever before! I choose to "count it all joy" letting "steadfastness have its full effect." I'm pressing onward and upward, towards completeness, wisdom, and maturity.

5If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

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