My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,
knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.
But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
Trials. I feel I have had my fair share of them lately. We all do at some point in our lives. Health issues, work pressure, trouble with friends, financial problems, failures, sin struggles .. the list goes on and on. Sometimes we rush into things causing our own sort of mayhem and chaos to deal with. Other times, trials just seem to encompass us from all directions. They blow in from seemingly nowhere.
I was reading in John MacArthur's commentary. A trial becomes a temptation when we chose to react to a trial with a wrong human response. It changed my outlook on the struggles I am going through. How can I glorify God in this right now? What is the response He is looking for in me at this moment? Is this a trial God can use in my life or am I making it a temptation to feed my fleshly responses?
Count it all joy! Greek says count or consider and think it all joy is a choice. How can I in the midst of pain and struggle ... consider it joy! I must realize that I am not here for my happiness. I am here for my Savior's pleasure ... to glorify Him. Is there really anything else I would rather do? May I consider it joy because I know God works all things together for His good and mine! I may consider it joy because He is working in me to be perfect and complete! I may consider it joy because He is building endurance.
When I was a preteen we had a pool put in our backyard. One of my favorite things to do in the pool when I was all alone was to swim laps underwater. I liked to see how far I could get on one breath. It would be a lap to start and as I built lung capacity it would grow and grow to several laps. There were times I was so determined to beat my last feat, I would hold my breath until I thought my lungs would burst and it seemed I wouldn't make to the surface. That breath was always glorious. I would look back to see if I beat my last record. Making one lap was child's play now :o)
There are times I don't think I will make it. Times I think I can't wait for the next breath. It is too hard. Yet when I finally do. That glorious breath!! I can look back and see how I have come. I can see the flesh being stripped from my body and His glory shining through! Praises to Him!