Thursday, October 25, 2012

Count it all joy

Testing of Your Faith

"Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." (James 1:2-4)

Sermon on that verse by Charles Spurgeon:
"Beginning with this word "brethren," James shows a true brotherly sympathy with believers in their trials, and this is a main part of Christian fellowship. "Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ." If we are not tempted ourselves at this moment, others are: let us remember them in our prayers; for in due time our turn will come, and we shall be put into the crucible. As we would desire to receive sympathy and help in our hour of need, let us render it freely to those who are now enduring trial. Let us remember those that are in bonds, as bound with them, and those that suffer affliction as being ourselves in the body. Remembering the trials of his brethren, James tries to cheer them, and therefore he says, "My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers trials." It is a part of our high calling to rise ourselves into confidence; and it is also our duty to see that none of our brethren despond, much less despair. The whole tendency of our holy faith is to elevate and to encourage."
Please remember our brethren in love. Carry their burdens, for would you not want someone to come alongside you in your time of trouble and carry yours?

Trials bring patience. As Spurgeon says,
"the kind of patience is when experience enables a man to bear ill-treatment, slander, and injury without resentment. He feels it keenly, but he bears it meekly. Like his Master, he opens not his mouth to reply, and refuses to return railing for railing. Contrariwise he gives blessing in return for cursing; like the sandal-wood tree which perfumes the axe which cuts it. Blessed is that holy charity which hopeth all things, endureth all things, and is not easily provoked. Ah, friend, if the grace of God by trial shall work in you the quiet patience which never grows angry, and never ceases to love, you may have lost a trifle of comfort, but you have gained a solid weight of character."
"They have built a new lighthouse upon the Eddystone: how do we know that it will stand? We judge by certain laws and principles, and feel tolerably safe about the structure; but, after all, we shall know best if after-years when a thousand tempests have beaten upon the lighthouse in vain. We need trials as a test as much as we need divine truth as our food." 
Joseph Mallord Wm Turner, The Eddystone Lighthouse
In these dark days, it is our love and our light which is from Jesus that makes the difference. Be Christ-loving by loving those who persecute you, and pray for them.
"and you, dear brother, if ever you are to be a leader and a helper, as you would wish to be, in the church of God, it must be by such means as this that you must be prepared for it. Do you not wish to have every virtue developed? Do you not wish to become a perfect man in Christ Jesus? If so, welcome with all joy divers trials and temptations; fly to God with them; bless Him for having sent them: ask Him to help you to bear them with patience, and then let that patience have its perfect work, and so by the Spirit of God you shall become "perfect and entire, lacking in nothing." May the Comforter bless this word to your hearts, for Jesus Christ's sake. Amen."

4 comments:

  1. Going through a huge trial...could easily go insane not knowing the outcome..but the Lord knows...resting in Him..Habakkuk 3:17-19
    Thank you for this, Elizabeth

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  2. Our Jesus is with you, Beloved. I AM carrying your burdens. (Galatians 6:2),

    I would lay down my life for you.

    "By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers." 1 John 3:16.

    "Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints," Ephesians 6:18

    YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

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  3. I also thank you and God for the timing on this entry! At 48 yrs old, was just told today that I have rheumatoid arthritis. Single adoptive parent of an 8 year old and we have been thru so much with her severe ADHD and learning disabilities. Now this. I know that God has used every trial to grow my faith and this new one will no doubt do the same thing! That opening verse was just what I needed. I really appreciate what you do!

    Liz

    P.s. I realize you probably don't approve of single parent adoption based on recent articles. Neither do I -- now!! I have learned the hard way why there should be two parents. But thank the
    Lord he has used my poor judgment to give my daughter her salvation, a loving family and the support to succeed in school. I believe her outcome in Guatemala would have been a tragedy. We will persevere thru this latest challenge.

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    Replies
    1. Liz, I'm sorry about your RA diagnosis... :( What blessed news about the salvation of your child! The Lord does work all together for the good of those who love Him! I pray that your RA is not too painful and that meds can diminish the pain.

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