Originally posted January 6, 2016
James 1:2 … Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials.
My grandfather “Pop” was a very wise man. He was quiet, but when he spoke he would often say something profound. One of his sayings was reserved for disciplining children. Pop would say, “it is better that the child cry now then the parent cry later!”
This is not unlike what God says about experiencing trials in our life. As James 1:2 discusses the benefits of trials. God designs our tough times to sharpen us. Paul concurs with James in his letter to the saints in Rome, as does Peter in his first letter.
Romans 5:3-5 … More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
1 Peter 4:12-13 … Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.
We appreciate the good times so much more when they come after trials. When reward comes without struggle, however, it is easy to take it for granted. Think of how much you enjoy a vacation when you work hard all year and scrimp and save to have that special time away. It is the labor that makes you treasure the time off that much more.
So when are going through a difficult time we should consider that God may be allowing this trial, to spare us from future pain that would far exceed this current dilemma. Remember that just like when parents discipline a child for that child’s future benefit, God does the same.
Romans 8:28 … We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
OH, another saying Pop had, was “People don’t know you are a fool unless you show them.” Looking back, there were so many times when I just had to show people what a fool I can be. But, that is a story for another day.
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