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Friday, September 28, 2012

Joy of the Purest Kind

“Consider it pure joy,” James 1:3-4 imparts, “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 complete, not lacking anything.”

    Why am I tested?  Why do I suffer? These are questions each believer asks.  Spiritual maturity can only be achieved through perseverance.  It is a goal, a promise, and constantly a journey.  This work must be finished in order for us to handle life’s unexpected circumstances.  What a riveting image!  There is a work going on in each believer, and it can only be completed through a willingness to endure!  The Lord’s perfect will is for faith to spring up in the midst of heartache. It is my decision whether I learn the lesson or not.  I should reach for spiritual awareness that is ripe and full of the grace of Christ to meet each insufficiency in my life.

     The end result of hardship should be patience. We are to consider suffering as beneficial, because trials can inspire spiritual growth. I Peter 1:7 reads, “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Christ.” The trying of your faith, of what you believe, should develop the ability to persevere. 

    Our faith in Jesus Christ is more precious than this world’s most precious metal, so it should be our most valued possession!  When Jesus calls us home to test the value of its worth---after years of refinement through hardship and battle—what will He discover?  We shall either have failed and remained a child, or endured and matured.  My attitudes, thoughts, and desires should be those of an adult, and represent the majority of my life.  They should be prime, and the first to arise in difficult circumstance.  Most of all, they should spur me on toward the perfection found only in Christ.  What I have within must be tested to see if it is any good.  If untried, it becomes stagnant.  Tried, it is refined by the fire of the Holy Spirit.  “Consider it pure joy,” James writes. To face trials with joy?  Do I really believe that the testing of my faith produces the ability to persevere?  God wants me to understand that it is the joy of the purest kind.

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