In Sunday school yesterday we talked about this passage from James 1: 1-12.
1 This letter is from James, a slave of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am writing to the “twelve tribes”—Jewish believers scattered abroad. Greetings!
2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
5 If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. 6 But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. 7 Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.
9 Believers who are poor have something to boast about, for God has honored them. 10 And those who are rich should boast that God has humbled them. They will fade away like a little flower in the field. 11 The hot sun rises and the grass withers; the little flower droops and falls, and its beauty fades away. In the same way, the rich will fade away with all of their achievements.
12 God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
This weekend was one of the toughest to get through that I can ever remember. Not much was going wrong on my end, with the jobs that I was doing, but it seemed like a lot that could go wrong for Josiah did. And the stupid thing is that I was the one getting frustrated. He seemed to take it all in stride, and I just wanted to never see a cow again.
And the work continues. And there is more "character building." Why should these small problems get me so frustrated? If I never had a problem, I would never grow and I would never learn perseverance.
It is so hard to consider a problem being an opportunity for joy. But it really is, because it is a time of growth, and who doesn't want to grow? It might be painful, but don't the benefits vastly outweigh the little frustration that I am feeling now?
And my growing will never be done, I will never be perfect, I will always need to ask God for wisdom, to see what he wants me to learn from a problem. And I am trying to be thankful for that today, because I do want to grow, I want to receive that reward, I don't want to give up in despair or hopelessness.