God calls us to consider our trials as joyous occasions. That sounds like an oxymoron when you first read it. But, James goes on to explain how to do that (James 1:2).
Trials test our faith, which teaches us to persevere through any issues that life throws at us. Perseverance has a perfecting nature to it that helps us to grow spiritually (James 1:3).
We mature in such a way, that we realize we lack nothing and we have everything we truly need, or else God would provide it for us (James 1:4).
Having fewer materialistic, earthly needs sets us free to obtain enduring possessions, just waiting for us in Heaven (Hebrews 10:34). It took me many years to find the value in accepting life with joy, regardless of the negative circumstances harassing my life.
Born with a melancholy personality, I struggle with seeing the glass half full. It is usually half empty when I look at it. For instance, a few years ago, we bought a tiny, old brick house built way back in 1971, a 700 sq. ft. fixer-upper.
The once dark, paneled walls stood faded and blotchy. Fiber tile in the suspended ceiling dripped with orange grease, cigarette smoke and age.
Old yellowed, metal office blinds covered the few windows. Even after I cleaned the scarred, dry-rotting linoleum kitchen floor it still looked dirty.
An outside laundry room exposed me to the tropical heat and rains. Permanent pocks marred the reflective film on the windows. This house desperately required a “facelift.”
As the seasons blended from one to another, I finally got sick of listening to myself complain about the hard work remodeling caused and the uproar in which it kept my life.
I realized that I needed to “lift my face” to Heaven with a smile of gratitude instead of a frown of criticism. I thought about the many homeless people who had no dwelling at all.
At least, I had a secure residence in which to live. From then on I started focusing on the good qualities about this home. I referred to it as our miniature, antique cottage.
I praised God for a dry roof, no termites and carpeting on the concrete floor. True to form, once I changed my attitude, then God miraculously started providing what we needed to remodel that little cube into a real home.
Father God, help me to focus on meeting the needs of those less fortunate than I am, and to remember that Heaven is our true home. This carnal, sin-cursed world is not what You had planned for us. You created Paradise for us to enjoy.
Yet, the one commandment You imposed on Adam and Eve was too much temptation for them once Satan showed up on the scene. Help us to keep Your commandments and to actually count it all joy, when we fall into various trials and temptations.
Thought For The Day:
Allow patience to produce her perfect work in you.