Patience! Just hearing the word can stir up a rebellious desire to buck and run. Patience are associated with trouble and last time I looked nobody was lining up to get their portion.
Dictionary.com defines patience this way: the quality of being patient, as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like.
Any takers? I didn’t think so. Me neither! But all of us will have our share of trouble nonetheless.
Yet biblical patience is not meant to simply be a “grin and bear it” response to adversity. It is not just accepting something bad without grumbling and complaining. Biblical patience is tied to the very nature of God. A state of being at rest with a confident expectation of good.
“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
Here James tells us when we are inundated with problems to “count it all joy” or as it says in the amplified version: “consider it nothing but joy”. This appears to be an outlandish possibly even a heartless command if taken at face value. After all whoever threw a party to celebrate a trial? “Lost my job so I am throwing a party on Saturday to celebrate” or “let’s all stand up and give a big round of applause for Jane, her engine blew out on her car and she has no money to fix it (insert hurrahs, whistles and loud clapping)”. Hmmm… I don’t think so!
Fortunately, James didn’t leave us there but quickly follows his admonition with a bona-fide reason to rejoice, not for the trial itself but for what the trial will bring.
“testing of your faith”
The trial is an opportunity for our faith to be put into second, third and fourth gear. Rather than humming along in first we must take it up a notch or two or three. As we do we discover there is more power there than we realized resulting in patience. (A rest with a confidant expectation of good) No longer are we panicked, anxious, reactive or explosive because we become intuitively aware that the outcome is tied to the goodness of God and He is using the process to develop something in us that is needed so we can fulfill our destiny. Trials are tools of His trade, building our lives into a glorious display of His grace!
“let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing”
Truth is God’s number one tool to equip us for our Divinely inspired destiny are trials. Every trial is an opportunity to discover what we have in Him and develop the skill of partnership. This is what prepares us to fulfill His dream for our lives. So if you happen to be in a trial or facing a trial: consider! Consider what God is doing, consider where He is taking you and most of all consider who He is for you right in the midst of it ALL. Consider it all joy!
Father, I admit I don’t necessarily like the tool but I trust the Hand of the One who holds the tool and uses it with absolute precision. I want to discover a new depth in You with every trial and rejoice in and through the process You are using to prepare me for greater things to come. Thank you for the outlandish victory I have in Christ! Amen!