Tuesday, February 9, 2021

When Trials Come

    "The meaning of a trial is not only to test its worthiness, but to increase it; as the oak is not only tested by the storms, but toughened by them." Mrs. Charles Cowman, Streams In The Dessert

    Do you know friends and family who just get hit by one thing and then another? I do. I remember last March, after our state was shut down for Covid, and we had an earthquake the same week; People were like, "Really?" And at that time we did not know that we would encounter much more as the year passed. I am sure many of you have had the virus, maybe lost income, or perhaps lost a loved one. Maybe you are feeling overwhelmed by it all. 

    The first chapter of the book of James is known to be a chapter about the testing of your faith. I have a quote in the margin of my Bible that says, "joy of what God is doing, rich or poor, God is the great equalizer, no one is higher or lower." So very true. He rains on the just and the unjust. I was reading on Instagram yesterday someone saying that God will grant you whatever you wish. {eye-roll} Absolutely NO WHERE in scripture does it say we will have perfect lives. 

    In James 1:2-4 it says,

 "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing...

 and verse 12, 

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those who love Him."

    I look out my office window this morning at the cold but sunshiny day and think it's such a lovely day, even though we may get snow this week.  I can see the sunshine or I can think about shoveling snow. It's my choice. I do not always see the cup half full, but sometimes I just have to make myself choose to. Here are some ways I try to turn my attitude around. 

        - Pray for God's help. Sometimes I do not actually want to be positive, I would rather dwell in my mood.

        - I look in my Bible at many of my underlined verses. They are my comfort, especially verses in Psalms.

        - I am an outside girl and taking a walk or just sitting on my porch can help. Something about being out in creation helps.

        - Have lunch with a trusted friend: not to complain (that doesn't help), but just to talk about other things. That can make my worries disappear. 

        - Bubble baths help too  😊

 Image result for photo of bubble bath

    When I was in college I went through some very dark days. A friend shared this passage with me from Job 23:10-12,  

"But He knows the way I take; when He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold. My foot has held fast to the path; I have kept His way and not turned aside. I have not departed from the command of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food."  

If anyone had a tough time, it was Job. He was going to remain faithful. And God blessed him. 

    Oh dear one, hold fast. cling to what is good, He is listening to your heart prayers. 

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