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Monday, June 6, 2011

All joy: Part 2...Endurance...

"Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance."--James 1:3.  James, telling us why we should consider it all joy   We should consider it all joy when we face trials because trials test our faith and the testing of our faith produces endurance.

Endurance.  Before I begin, consider the image above.  Then let me ask you how far can you run before your legs give out and you cannot run any further?   I am one that is out of shape and I probably couldn't run that far without getting tired pretty quick.  I may be thin but I am still out of shape. Although I am active enough that I keep my health in check, there is always room for improvement. Building on what we already do physically will help produce in us endurance.

Endurance.  Consider again the image above and then let me ask you how far can you run before your faith gives out and you cannot go any further?  This is what happens when the trials come.  James was writing to people dealing with trials related to persecution which were no doubt testing their faithfulness to God.  Some folded but others stood firm and finished the race.  The latter endured.  Their faith produced endurance.  

Endurance.  Here in the United States, many Christians don't realize how powerful a faith in God really is.  Don't get me wrong, we don't have a faith that can miraculously heal someone by the laying on of hands despite what we might see on TV.  But there is something about our faith that causes us to push on. Maybe it's something as simple as the hope of something better on the other side of a trial.  When we get to the other side, we have endured.  Our faith has produced endurance.

Endurance.  I repeat what James says to consider it all joy when you encounter various trials.  Why? Because if you endure, you can walk away from that trial knowing you were faithful to God and that your faith has produced endurance.

Endurance.  When we are faced with trials or temptations of any sort, consider it a test of your faith.  It does not come from God as stated in James 1:13 but temptation comes as a result of either our own lust or the situations we come into contact with.  When we endure, it is then that our faith has produced endurance.

Endurance.  So again consider the image above then let me ask again how far can you run until your body gives out? How far can you run until your faith gives out? My encouragement to you is this. I encourage you to fast from something this week.  It does not necessarily have to be food but it can be.  Do without something for a day or more that is otherwise hard to do without whether it's food, television, or your computer.  Use some of that time and devote it to God via study, prayer or doing His will in the life of someone else.  Go into it knowing that your faith will produce endurance.


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