Sunday, June 1, 2008

Joy in times of trial

This weekend has been hard on me emotionally. There have been moments where I have felt completely defeated. There have been moments that the heartache is so strong, I don't think I can bear it anymore. I try not to let these negative emotions in very often, but sometimes I can't keep them away.

I walked into church this morning wishing, hoping, praying for God to comfort me in some way. I needed to be able to feel His presence. I needed some kind of reassurance. Reassurance of what? I didn't know this morning. I needed something, and I didn't know what.

The sermon today was on James 1:1-12. If you aren't familiar with this passage, please take the time to do read it. We aren't promised that our lives will be without trials. It says so in verses 2-4. We can't develop endurance/perseverance if we don't go through trials. (I guess Keith and I should have a lot of endurance.) It struck me today that, especially this weekend, I have been like the waves of the sea in verse 6. I needed something, because I have been overcome with doubts. Those doubts make my faith restless like the waves of the sea.

My doubts are certainly nothing new. They just seem so much closer to the surface this weekend. I am afraid of what we will hear in the morning. I don't doubt that God has the ability to heal Keith. I fully believe that He does. I am afraid that earthly healing will not be what God has planned. That alone is frightening. Add in Nick's health situation, the fact that I haven't worked outside the home in 13 years, raising Kacie and Nick, and the list goes on and on and on. The big black hole of doubt is easy for me to fall into.

This passage reassures me of God's presence. It shows me to focus less on the trial and more on God's purpose of the trial. I need to look at the bigger picture, rather than focus on the here and now. I should also focus on the reward. In verse 12 it states that the reward for persevering through trials is the Crown of Life. Wow! God promises that to those who have persevered under trial and stood the test. I hope I am standing the test in a way that is pleasing to my Heavenly Father.

I'll leave you tonight with one more verse from today's message. Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

I certainly don't understand any of this that is happening, but I do trust God. I may get shaken up some along the way, but He loves me. I know that it's okay for me to seek comfort and reassurance from My Father. Maybe that's what He wants me to do. Surrender to Him and stop trying to do it own my own. That way He can have His way!

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