Friday, February 27, 2009

Wisdom and Joy

Trials are a blessing, much like discipline.

I have an ongoing test of faith, relating to an incurable illness in my young son. I hate it, and I would trade it for his health any day. And then I realize how much of a blessing this struggle has been --

Because of our child's illness, my husband has come to know Christ. All of my children have grown close and protective of each other. I see the creativity in my son which is probably due to his illness. My knees have grown calloused, and my heart has grown tender. I have drawn closer to my Father.

I would not trade these blessings, though they are wrapped in difficulty. Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.

The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position. But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wild flower. For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business.

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

~James 1:2-11

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