“Consider, (look attentively at, contemplate, observe, regard, survey, view, scrutinize, scan, examine, inspect) it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds….” James 1:2(NIV)
I cannot speak for you but this is one of those scriptures that makes me squirm at my lack of an enthusiastic response. I usually do not consider trials to be anything other than a bothersome interlude that are interrupting my momentum .
Wow, I heard this immediately after I typed my last full stop. You can depend upon the timing of Papa God to be right on time. “When the headwinds come against you for holding up the name of Jesus, the pneuma, the Breath, the wind of the Spirit comes behind you and propels you through” Louie Giglio , live streaming from Hillsong.
Persecution for making a stand for righteousness, the values of the Kingdom of God and that Jesus is the only name under heaven, is one kind of trial. If this is you be encouraged, for “blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great..”Matt 5:11-12.
Next time you are experiencing a trial of any kind, scrutinize it, contemplate it, inspect it from all angles….look at what the Spirit is showing you, ask the Father to give you His thinking on it and have a ‘selah’ moment, own anything you need to own and praise God in the circumstance so that “the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” James 1:3-4
Perseverance, now there’s another word we all love and cherish…..this was in that liminal* moment between desert and overflow.
“the mountains are still here…ever higher
the oceans are still here…ever wider
the depths are still here…ever deeper
You are still here…ever nearer,
revealing freshness with flashes of lightning,
sound-bursts of Glory with rolls of thunder,
building us into Zion
the everlasting resting place of Your desire…the pure in heart,
and we will see God
and sing aloud for joy.
I will keep going for You feed me on the lembas bread of what You have done in me.”
* my new favourite word thanks to A Pilgrim in Narnia.