Sunday, July 11, 2004

Lord's Day, July 11th

I have much I would like to say about my past week and a half, but I am still processing much of it and want to chew it over a bit more before commenting on and relating it for others. Instead, since this is the Lord's Day, and therefore a day to be devoted to Him, I thought I would share some meditations I have recently had in my private worship and the practical outworkings I have seen.

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

Our usual response when we face a trial is to moan and complain and be anything but full of joy. Trials mean pain most of the time. Yet God tells us, nay, commands us, to consider it a joy when we have trials. Why? Because this is the means that He uses to bring us to maturity and completeness and to conform us to the image of His dear Son.

God tells us to count it all joy and when we take Him at His word, knowing that all that comes into our life is ordained by Him for His glory and our good, then we can rest and find joy knowing that we are not being harmed by God, even when we experience negative providences. Even these are a joy to those who place their trust in the Rock of their salvation. The ability to walk confidently in this knowledge is the evidence of things unseen and the foundation for peace in the midst of trials. It is the basis for freedom from fear of man and circumstance.

I have seen the practical outworkings of this in my own life. Things that were formerly things to make a federal case out of now recede to minor incidents that are to be dealt with calmly. Potential tragedies are opportunities for faith, love, and trust in God. I am convinced, as I walk in this truth experientially, that I have found the secret perspective that enabled Job to say, "Thou He slay me, yet will I trust Him."

How can we not love a God who enables us to rise above the sorrows of life in a sinful world and to experience a joy and a mercy that can undo us when we contemplate its depths?

Bless the Lord, oh my soul! And all that is within me, Bless His holy name!

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