"Ed, get the phone!"
"Phone, schmone, they'll call back."
I didn't rejoice when I saw James 1:2 as the first verse for today's Jesus Calling devotional. My mind shut down a bit and I thought "Trial, schmial," but God had the last laugh when I said it: "Trial, schmial" - Trial, smile.
"Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.
But endurance must do its complete work,
so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing."
About three months ago, I was crying the blues over the unexpectedly high amount of taxes we owed both to our great nation and our new state. I didn't view this trial as a joy, much less a "great joy." Instead I reacted with every negative response that surfaced. I moaned that we never seem to get a break where taxes are concerned. I cried, fussed, fumed, worried and THEN . . . the Light came on and I prayed fervently. Today, three months and one God-send job later, the taxes are paid in full. Now that the trial is past, I rejoice. Better late than never, I guess, but James teaches a more mature faith than mine.
According to James 1:2-4, mature faith smiles and rubs its hands together in anticipation of how God will work through the trial. Mature faith rejoices in the opportunities for growth and completed maturity. (Even now I can hear Ed chiming in with "Maturity is overrated.") I'm on that bumpy road to maturity and I'm determined to get to the place where I naturally and faithfully "schmial at the trial."
"But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you,
for power is perfected in weakness.”
Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses,
so that Christ’s power may reside in me."
2 Corinthians 12:9
Father, thank You for loving us when we moan, groan, cry, pout, stomp our feet, and react to our circumstances with a total lack of faith. Thank You for faithfully dedicating Yourself to our maturing process for Your kingdom's sake. Wonderful, perfect Father, strengthen us to face each trial as the exact trial You allow to bring out the next level of maturity You want from us. Keep Your Face before us when our hearts and minds change from one emotion to the next. You're our Anchor, our Solid Rock, and we love You.
In the Name of Jesus Whose perfect faith trumped every emotion