Our scripture begins with an instruction on how to view our “many trials”, or how to feel about them. Hitherto, my gut reflex was whimpering, loathing, until the inevitable debilitating self-pity swept me away. Frozen, stuck, viciously cycling between the desire to extricate myself from the unbearable circumstances and fear that the stage exit door was out of reach, I was paralyzed. I counted it all overwhelming rather than joy, consuming opposed to challenging, and unattainable as opposed to necessary pains promoting spiritual growth. Previously, I viewed my predicaments in defeat, often before I began, and made God minuscule. My only option was to faint in such conditions. If God, the Creator of the universe, was unable to manage my unmanageable dilemmas, then there was no hope.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Allow perseverance to finish its work, so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” James 1:2-5
Retrospectively, I never said to myself, God is too minute for my vast problems, yet unknowingly I learned to see challenges as impossible, too grand, too complicated. In correlation, my issues became superior to the power of God in my life. To elucidate, God never changed, my perspective of the problem in relation to Him and his capabilities declined. The more I fixed my eyes on the hindrances, the bigger they became, and all I did was keep looking at it. How does this happen? How do we inflate our troubles? When our sole focus is our difficulties, in essence, we are magnifying the difficulty and minimizing our God, who is worthy.
No one, nothing should be on the throne as greatest, largest, unsearchable but God, not mere temporal circumstances, opposing people, even lifelong circumstances, or positive people. This calls to mind the handmade gods that had to be dusted off and sat on a ledge. All of our daily frustrations, anomalies, and peculiarly difficult trials that seemingly all happen together are no match for our God. I’m convinced. I will “count it all joy” because God is greater than the struggle, but what are the benefits? In Gods’ word, we are eloquently exposed to the barriers being inundated with the advantages of such a perspective. These joyous trials produce steadfastness. In other words, the pressure from the concurrent trials is what teaches us to persevere. The benefits of perseverance are a strong spiritual foundation, increasing effectiveness in our callings, and an amplified ability to endure even more trials.
God’s cruelty, Satan’s supremacy of which he has none or the powerlessness we often feel as we go through, are just lie’s and distractions. The meat of the trial is maturity, completeness, where we lack nothing. Lacking nothing may include tangible items that collect dust, but the most important virtues that we need as believers are priceless such as wisdom, discernment, love, patience, faith, and kindness in adversity. Perhaps, we do not realize the importance of our spiritual maturity until our response to consistent hard times reflect how well we can trust God in adversity. For instance, there are several immensely important details of my future that hang in the balance at the moment. When I call companies and it appears that they are going to provide yet another road block for me, do I A. Get snippy with them, B. Panic, or C. Patiently and lovingly trust God? Today, I choose option “C”, I have grown to the point that I am not fazed by my supposed dreadful circumstances, or the people that “appear” to be in control of them. I simply trust God.
My soliloquy has changed. The “why me, poor me” oration has been replaced with “Lord you know exactly what I need; I trust you.” I can even say thank you when I call around and get the runaround, and it seems that nothing is looking up. I declare and decree, the Word of God over my life and not the anthem of my struggles.
Lord you are greater
Warring in my mind; great debater
Victoriously firm in adversity
Walking by faith, speaking with authority
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