Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. – James 1:2-4

It’s easy to write this when things are going well.  When you’re walking in what I consider is the typical american lifestyle where your biggest problem is making sure you can get everywhere you’re supposed to, how to buy all the gifts.  Where you are worn out not from work, but work, friends, family, activities, sports, and everything else.  When your problems aren’t bad, it’s easy to consider a trial a blessing.  But when you’re in the muck, when you look around and hope is far off, that’s where the joy is hard.

That’s where I have been.  The Spirit brought this back to my memory and opened it up (just a little) for me.  You see, our life is full of opportunities.  We have a chance to become close to the Lord.  To know Him, see Him, walk with Him.  But the choice is on our side, not His.  We choose how close to God we are.  How do we choose, but every little action we take.  By the time we spend, by what we do, by how we handle problems.  I’ve long thought you can see what’s inside a person when you see them during the heavy trials.  Well, there’s not much in me to be proud about.  Except for who I belong to.

So here I am, and the Holy Spirit is telling me that every trial that arises is a chance for me to grow.  It’s a chance to make myself more like Jesus, to draw closer.  Think about that verse, consider it joy in trails, because trials bring perservance, and “let perseverance finish its work”.  The work, to make you complete.  So here I am these last couple years knowing that I fall short, knowing that God has set soooo much more before us on the table, and i’m partaking of so little, and this really sinks down.  Suddenly I see it, and accept this trial, I embrace it.  This is one of the hardest times for me, yet, it has such opportunity.  If I will take each trail, humble myself, and dig farther into Jesus.  Respond from the grace He’s giving, it will shape me.  It will dig out the rotten in my soul and cleanse me.  “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God”.

Whenever despair hits because I’m helpless in the face of my challenges, I look at that challenge in the face and say to myself, “Awesome, here’s a chance to perfect myself, here’s a chance to make a big jump toward God is a short time-frame.”  So I find joy there.  Joy that this deep trail may also be a deep grace to give me opportunity.  If I can find joy and strength in each trial, if I choose each moment to focus upon Jesus, upon the “hope of His calling”, then just perhaps I may find my Lord in a new way at the end.

I really am sick of living the “normal Christian life”.  Of taking the steps, but not really having that relationship that I know it’s possible.  To walk with God as some of those in the Bible have.

Ok I feel like I’ve lost that inspiration that I have sometimes when I’m writing these things, and now I’m just rambling.  I think I’ll just stop here.