by Pastor Mark Jordan
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:2-4, NIV)
I am coming through a season where a truth is more real to me than ever. Suffering. I don’t like it. I don’t want it. But it seems I can’t live without it.
Today’s passage gives truth that we are to approach suffering with joy, because it is in those times that we find ourselves strengthens. It is like steel forged in flame. It is like tea steeped in hot water. The perseverance that emerges from suffering can purify you by helping you get back to what’s most important, because all too often we are guilty of making mountains out of molehills. Instead, God wants you to see your life in the light of Mount Calvary, and know that Jesus Himself suffered so you can be purified.
William Ellery wrote that difficulties are meant to rouse the human spirit, and not discourage. They are meant to strengthen us to stand strong and declare what cannot be in the face of what is. And based on God’s own name, He Is (remember God’s encounter with Moses in Exodus 3:14 and “I AM that I AM).
God is real.
God is love.
God is victory.
God is healing.
God is holy.
God is wholeness.
God is for you.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for being with me and for me. Help me to see my suffering as a way to persevere and develop purity. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.