We, as a church, have just started a summer series in the book of James. As we began this amazing study two words caught my attention in the first verses. These two words had never stood out to me before, so let me share my new discovery with you.
The verses are 2-4. They are the most challenging verses in the book because of their invitation to a decision. Here they are with these two words highlighted,
These two words are the keys to the invitation!
Let's reverse the verses and see if it sounds any different,
...therefore, Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,
Because we know the outcome we can respond differently to the problem! I had not really captured that clearly before.
(I'm sorry, I'm quite slow.)
But suddenly I saw this- when we know that God's
goal is to make us perfect and complete, lacking nothing, it's much easier to see trials as the training camp for that outcome.
Similar to the gym experience that takes the pain of a workout in light of the goal, we can endure the trials knowing what we will look like when God is finished.
Consider, knowing. If you knew how you were going to turn out could you endure a few trials to get there? Could you do it with joy, knowing God is working for your final good?