Thursday, July 27, 2017

Dealing With Problems

Chuckle: A wife begs the psychiatrist to help her husband. "He thinks he's a racehorse, lives in a stable, walks on all fours, and eats hay!" "I'm sure I can help him, but it will be expensive." "Money is no object -- he's already won two races."
Great Quote: "Troubles are tools by which God fashions us for better things." --Henry Ward Beecher

"Consider it pure joy (rejoice), my brethren, whenever you face trials (problems) of many kinds. . . ." (James 1:1a NIV).
Rejoice during trials!!!! This must be a misprint! Right? Has the writer, James, gone completely bonkers? How can a person rejoice while experiencing trials and problems? No, he's not bonkers because he's not talking about frolicking in joyous abandonment -- not a jump up and down kind of joy. He's talking about the kind of joy described in Nehemiah 8:10 NIV: "The joy of the Lord is my strength."
James is talking about that inner peace that comes from our faith/trust, regardless of circumstances. This sense of well being comes when you have inside information that trials produce endurance and endurance produces maturity. This joy is described by the Psalmist: "I will bless the Lord at all times. His praise shall continually be in my mouth." (Psalm 34:1 NIV). Job put it this way: "The Lord has given and the Lord has taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord." (Job 1:21b NIV). Only God can give us that kind of joy.
Pray during trials. "If any man lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him" (James 1:5 NIV). When we face problems, we should pray something like this: "Lord, I don't want to miss what you are trying to teach me in this time of difficulty. Please give me wisdom to understand what you want me to learn during this crisis within my family, during this illness, or during this time of disappointment. . . ."
Trust God during difficulties. We rejoice! We pray! We trust! Faith is cooperating with God. Many fight him, or run from him during crises. James 1:12 gives us insight: "Blessed is the man (person) who endures (perseveres) under trial, because he has stood the test. He will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him." We are tested here, but our final reward will be received in heaven. Remember: "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose" (Romans 8:28 NIV).
"Trials are not to our detriment but add to our growth. For example, consider the kite flyer. He must take in hand the string of his kite and run until the kite lifts up into the heavens. But he will not reach his goal of flying a kite if there is not wind. Every kite flyer knows that wind is necessary for flying kites. But note that kites do not rise with the wind but rise against it. So it is with trials. The Christian will not ascend to patience and maturity unless he ascends against trials. Do trials make you soar above, or just plain sore?" --Illustrations for Biblical Preaching; March 1991; Edited By Michael P. Green
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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