Have you ever thought you could avoid trouble? Go through your entire life, and if you choose the right path, answers, car lane, job opportunity, conversations, friends and you will make it. Make it through life without trouble. Hopefully, you aren’t that naive. Trouble is coming. You ain’t gonna avoid it. Like an earthquake, just be ready to deal with it once it arrives.
I was born and raised in southern California. For 27 years of my life, I knew earthquakes were something that could occur. I felt some little quakes, and I just needed to be prepared. But I knew it wasn’t an ‘if’ trouble come but ‘when.’
Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. (James 1:2-3)
James tells the church when trouble comes (not if) don’t complain and wish your life was different. Consider it an opportunity, an opportunity to endure, grow, discover joy. Alright, I have always understood troubling times can lead to growing and endurance but joy? No. Not joy, just thankfulness when it is over.
Not ‘if trouble comes my way but ‘when’ (James 1:2-3)
But James says to consider the junk your going through as an opportunity for joy. Why joy? Becuase your faith will be tested. You will only become stronger in what you believe and why you believe it. Becuase you will grow. You will be more mature and wise. Because as all of these things happen your endurance grows and you can handle larger and messy things in the future. You can be a greater ambassador for Christ. No matter the situation you are built to last, you are battle ready!
So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. (James 1:4-6)
Troubles are opportunities for us to become ‘perfect and complete.' Just like working out we must always strive for more, to lift a little more than last week, to run a little further than yesterday. The reality is if you don’t continue to stretch and endure more than you did before you will become stagnant. James is telling us to ask God, to seek an opportunity to grow. But don’t have your loyalty lie in multiple areas because you will experience the storm, and you need a firm foundation.
I Am Battle Ready
There is a great pastor, writer, creative man named Erwin McManus. He recently did a message series titled “Battle ready.” He shared that we all need to be ready. Ready to deal with the troubles that will come. He has a powerful testimony that he at the beginning of this year (2017) was diagnosed with cancer, he had to change his life, his habits. But he shared with his church that he is battle ready. He is going into all circumstances knowing that God will only mold him more and build him stronger.
Are you battle ready? Do you consider your troubles as an opportunity for joy because there is potential for growth? Are your loyalties divided? Keep God as the foundation and anchor in. What if we looked at our troubles as exciting opportunities?
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