Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Teachin' times

I like to read James. He picks well-chosen words and speaks the truth boldly in love. I like that. I need that.

But I tend to read quickly over the second verse in the whole book, which says:

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance."

Yeah... I read quickly over that one.

I think it's because that the trials and hard providences do scare me. But yet I know that the hard times are the "teachin' times." It's where we learn the most about God and ourselves. I should want to embrace those times; but, boy, that is hard to do.

John Piper says this in his book Don't Waste Your Life:

Untold numbers of professing Christians waste their lives trying to escape the cost of love. They do not see that it is always worth it. There is more of God's glory to be seen and savored through suffering than through self-serving escape.

Now am I looking for suffering? No way. But I aim to do what God would have me do, even if it means suffering in some form or another. Not an easy thing to say or do.


Christine said...

So well put, Andrea. I usually am able to mentally understand during trials that I am to learn and remain in a spirit of joy, but emotionally?? No way! It's something I work toward as well.

L.L. Barkat said...

I probably could have used this post before I spoke today... even so, it is strange comfort... makes me feel better about the risk of what I said. Of course, saying necessary draws us into action, and that is not nearly as comforting!

dorothy said...

I appreciate that quote by John Piper, especially today. So true, the sacrifice that comes with loving the way Christ loves can be so tough. I'm thinking of the love for others that forces us into the lives of those easier left unloved. Great encouragement!

Elise said...

I'm longing for the day when I can stop in the midst of my circumstances and count it all joy. My emotions always ALWAYS get in the way.
But though the refining burns, coming out of the fire and feeling the coolness of His grace helps us forget. Kind of like childbirth. We know it hurt, but once it's over, it's time to move forward with our new grace.

Holly said...

God has been talking to me about this, too, Andrea. I don't like the hard stuff - but the further I go in life, I see that they are inevitable and that we shouldn't try to avoid them at all costs.