Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
My brothers, count it all joy when you fall into different kinds of temptations, knowing that the trying of your faith works patience. But let patience have its perfect work, so that you may be perfect and entire, lacking nothing. (James 1:2-4)
WOW! Did you see that “all joy”? And Jesus says “blessed”.
Have you ever gotten really happy when you were tempted to become angry, impatient or discouraged?
Of course, this is easy to talk about when you’re warm and dry and there is food in the ‘frig. But what about when the car won’t start, again? What about when the rent is due now and pay day is a week away? What about when your son or daughter is sick and you can’t afford the doctor or the medicine? These are real trials. These are real temptations.
This is where I truly show my faith. Do I count it all joy or do I doubt and become discouraged and disagreeable? God’s word says that I should count it as joyful when things don’t go my way.
If I will be faithful God’s word promises that patience will be developed in me and I will become perfect lacking nothing. Jesus says that the kingdom of heaven will be mine.
Do you believe it? Will you purpose in your heart to live this promise?
When our son was young, I would listen to his prayers at night. One night he prayed that God would help him be patient with his sisters. We had a talk about how God could help him the most to be patient. It was not by them being agreeable all the time. No, we can only learn patience when things don’t go our way.
Recently I realized that patience is not a gift from God. Trials and temptations are the gift, because they develop patience in me.
Father in Heaven, help me to always be mindful that trials and temptations are the gift that you give me to strengthen my faith so that I can learn patience and become perfect and complete in you. What a wonderful Joy! Amen