I never really like going through trials.
I mean, who does?
My comfort zone is like stone henge of 4 thick deep walls and I’m right in the middle. In that place, I’m good.
My comfort zone and I are more than just friends, we are soul ties.
But in the severing of ties through various ups and downs in the journey of intimacy with the Father, God constantly pulls me out of my stone wall company and stretches me to uncomfortable places.
Comfort: A word now I associate more with thick wool blankets then situations.
I found a verse in James this week that came alive to me. One that has been Christianized, plastered on t-shirts, and made and anthem of through various sermons, Jesus mugs and teeny-bopper scrunchies….
Jame 1: 2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
Whenever I have seen this verse in the past, I cringe a little . When I am in the thick of a trial, it doesn’t FEEL like joy even if I put a Jesus smilie sticker on the front of my JOY coffee mug.
The cup is still half empty….
It doest feel like joy when the stress of my shoulders weights down to the depth of my heart and when the tears won’t stop pouring out. It doesn’t feel joyful when my mind won’t stop thinking to the early morning hours and when my soul is weary from the enemy lies. It doesn’t feel like joy when I have to fight to position my mind in a place of complete trust when everything in me wants to hold onto control because… it feels more comfortable.
Joy comes from understanding what the out come of the trial is going to be.
Faith tested gives birth to patience. Tested faith actually carries another fruit with it.
The fruit of tested faith is patience.
V. 4 (Message) So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.
Patience in this verse sounds like it’s own process. It sounds like it has it’s own agenda and we need to stay out of the way until it’s has it’s way. Almost like it has a will of it’s own. Let Patience complete its corse so that we become mature and complete.
A me that doesn’t lack anything.
That sounds fabulous.
Patience is how we wait in the process. It’s giving up our will to control, to jump in and save ourselves. It’s letting go of manipulation and saying yes to complete and utter trust in Him leading us.
I love how the next verse is an invitation for intimacy with Him.
ASK for WISDOM. Ask for incite form the Father. He will give it.
So in the trial He gives us a little outline of gifts:
A tested faith with births patience.
Patience that makes us complete and perfect not lacking anything.
Wisdom from the Father. (If we ask 😉 )
We come out on the other end of the struggle, the tears, the journey, with Intimacy and Fruit from the Father’s heart.
It’s joy because of what is coming because of the trail. It’s joy because it means that there are nooks and crannies of our hearts that are being solidified through maturity. It’s joy because the outcome is a better us. He has set us up to succeed in every trial, every time. He works all things together for our good and in this verse He actually outlines the good, and thats just the beginning.
He wants us to know, that at the beginning of the trial we can already know the outcome. That outcome is so spectacular He wants us to experiences JOY even while we are in the trial because we already know what coming.
The rewards for Jesus going to the cross was Joy. That was the gift God choose to reward Jesus.
Joy is such a spectacular gift. It’s not just being happy or smiling. It’s an actual over flow that comes from the center of your being and bubbles over into goodness. I have fought battles being completely and totally joy filled, laughing the entire battle because of how incredible God is. Joy, like a lifting of the veil to see the revealed goodness of God. That is what Joy feels like and it is amazing. We have access to that joy through Jesus all of the time. Joy is an incredible weapon of war fair. We can position ourselves to receive the joy of Jesus and fight the battle completely giddy at His goodness.
Always look at what the Father is doing.
The Father laughs at the enemy.
I’m just like my Daddy.
My niece, Bravery. Oct 2012