Monday, November 12, 2012

The Gift Of Adversity

A botanist once said that trees need the March winds. When asked why, he replied, “It is the winds that cause the trunks of trees to ‘flex’ and the branches to ‘sway.’ As the tree is ‘shaken’ it draws the sap up to nourish the new growth and sprouting leaves.”

James must have wanted us to understand that “trouble” in the life of the Christian has its value. He wrote, “...whenever trouble comes your way let it be an opportunity for joy!” He did not say, “If trouble comes your way...” And he did not say, “Should you happen to encounter any trouble in life...” No. He most assuredly says “whenever trouble comes your way” as though it is certain to happen. No doubt each of us can verify the fact that “trouble” comes with life!

However, along with the promise of “trouble” coming into our lives, James tells how we are to respond: “Let it be an opportunity for joy!” In other words, take advantage of the troubles in life and maintain a positive attitude! So, instead of pouting and asking why, James would encourage us to ask, “Lord, how can I take what You have brought into my life and use it to help others?”

How, after I have endured a great loss in my life, I can more easily understand the pain of one who is grieving and truly grieve with them. If my family and I have experienced the pain and anguish of cancer, I can walk and weep with those who are traveling this valley.

Prayer: Father, whenever we experience problems give us optimism and a cause for joy knowing that what comes into our lives is a gift from You to serve others. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: James 1:2-4 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

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