26 Jan Strength Through Tests and Trials
Read James 1:2-4
Thought for the Day: With Jesus, tests and trials strengthen me!
Ask any teacher: There is a profound difference between intellectual knowledge and classroom experience. A potential teacher can read books upon books about educational pedagogy and classroom management. But no amount of reading or lectures is an effective substitute for working in a classroom with students. Likewise, an expectant parent can seek wisdom from older adults and buy thousands of dollars of trendy baby equipment. But no amount of preparation will ever fully prepare that parent for a crying baby at 2:30 AM on a work night.
In the same way, faith is not simply knowing that Jesus is Lord. When we learn to live by faith, we certainly will agree with the truth: Jesus is Lord. But, we will also learn to trust by relying on Jesus as the Lord of our lives to get us through the tests and trials. Consider the wisdom of James, the brother of Jesus, a man who served as a leader in the Early Church and faced his share of challenges: “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.” James knew that difficult experiences which test our faith do not have to destroy us. Instead, by allowing Jesus to take His rightful place at the center of our lives, we become stronger!
We all have times in our lives when we feel like an unequipped student teacher in front of 30 unruly children. We all face times when we feel like exhausted parents with nothing left to give. At these moments, let’s acknowledge the truth: if we try to grin and bear our way through our trials, we will eventually run out of strength. But, if we continually pray to Jesus and ask Him for help, our experiences will strengthen our faith. With Jesus, no unruly class, cranky baby, or other difficult trials can ever truly defeat us!
Pastors Stan and David