I started Beth Moore's James study a couple of weeks ago. I've done most of her studies and have enjoyed every one. This one is no different.
In yesterday's homework we read James 1:2-4. The consider it all joy during trials verses. This is something that does not come naturally to me! As the lesson concluded, she asked her readers to write down three possible responses to a trial we are currently facing, encouraging us to have obey James 1 as an option. Then we were to predict what the consequences of each would be five years from now.
When I did this, I realized just how LAME my other possible responses really are! One of my options is to withdraw from the situation and pout. I know, so mature! But it's one I've chosen many a time. The five year fruit of this one is regret and marred relationships.
Another of my stellar options is to be resentful about the situation and blame others. Yeah, that works so well! (NOT!!) I know this from experience as well. I don't think resentment has ever made my life or my relationships better.
When compared to the alternatives, considering it pure joy when I encounter trials doesn't seem so crazy after all!
I've faced numerous trials during the year and a half of this church planting journey. And, I'm ashamed to admit that pouting and resentment have been my response far more often than considering them pure joy. But God's mercies are new every morning. And I'm seeking His help to respond to each new trial with joy and faith! The rewards will be so worth it!