James 1:2-4 " 2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have it's perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing."
Respond to the call.
I woke this morning around 3:30 a.m. thinking about my book. I sighed at the idea of getting up to write. I did and went to my office. The chapter I am focusing on is Gaining Autonomy. I am discussing the responsibility Christians must accept in their "freedom" in Christ. I am reminded of what I have written earlier in the book, you as a believer do not have a right to yourself. At the time of salvation, you became a "bond servant" to the Kingdom of God. An ambassadors to the true one and only King. Christ anguished over His death, but endured the process in order to fulfill His call, to break the veil that separated man from God. His crucifixion was witnessed so that His true identity would be revealed to those who believed. Even if they did not totally get who He was during His life on earth, their minds eye was cleared of any imperfect perception.
Often those times that bring what we perceive as the greatest opportunity for failure that God will bring opportunity for success. Look at how those who walked with Christ viewed His death. There was doubt, or at least a sense of the end of His presence, His leadership. It was through Christ's endurance during His trials that His purpose/intention was displayed but in His death His identity was revealed. If He quit during the trials, His goal would not have been accomplished nor His true identity with those who believed been revealed. Endurance is a key in revealing the true Christ in you and me.
After I wrote for a while, the thought of going for a run came to mind. By this time it was 5:30 a.m. Again I sighed, even grimaced at the idea, but holding to my nature, got up, got dressed, and went running. Instead of just maintaining a constant jog for 1.5 miles, I decided to break up the run with intervals of sprinting followed by intervals of brisk walking. I can tell you, after that first sprint at 5:30 in the morning lacking the discipline of running regardless of the fact of the discipline of running at 5 in the morning, I did not want to sprint again. But I did. Well, I made it through the challenge. I understand that this type of exercise builds endurance.
I had a plethora of thoughts flood my brain. I thought of Job. Regardless of his trials, his faith in God endured. What did God do? Restored Job. Christ suffered not just emotional abuse by physical abuse as well. Through His obedience He endured. Through Christ's death, God restored His availability to man. Christ provided His bride, the church an opportunity to trust, establish fidelity. We each must allow God to restore us to a true, genuine relationship with Him so we each can provide light to those living in the darkness of this world. Understand that true love, peace, and joy established in Christ endures all obstacles.
It is now 5 in the morning for me also, as I happen to wake up and though I try to go back to sleep, I can't. So I decided to take this time to write. I wanted to say that my wife and I were blessed by the other night when you and your family came over to have dinner with us. Although we already had this conversation over the phone, I must reiterate that although the dinner was great, it was not about the food, nor the jokes, and laughs, but really something much more profound than that.ReplyDelete
It was definitely a good time for fellowship, and a time for learning and encouraging. You really encouraged my wife and I last night, because we were reminded that we are not the only ones that have trials and tribulations. We are all constantly being tested and challenged. If we expect to be Holy like God is, then we must expect God to do some pruning on his branches, and to put the gold through the fire to purify it. And that's us.
We must expect a moment of difficulty. A moment of pain and agony. A moment that it will either define us, or we will define it. And through the midst of it all, a revelation. Yes, a revelation indeed! God is all about revealing what our eyes and ears cannot see or hear. We just need to be willing. The same way Jesus had his trials and tribulations, we have ours. And we don't have to do it alone like He did. We get to the do it with Him!! So let that thought alone bring joy to our hearts, for He does not leave us or forsake us!! When I left the gym yesterday, I picked up a piece of paper that was inside of a basked that said "Thoughts to share" and it read "For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways" Psalm 91:11.
That was encouraging and I pray this may be encouraging to whoever gets to read this.
God bless you and your family Clint.