Friday, January 20, 2012

Be Assured AND Understand

James 1:2-3 (AMP) - "Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations. 3 Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience."

I always have felt uneasy about how some people may interpret this passage.

I often have felt that it is misinterpreted to insinuate that God somehow makes it tough on us so we can experience the joy and subsequent results of being immersed in difficulty.

First of all...

James 1:13 (AMP) - "Let no one say when he is tempted, I am tempted from God; for God is incapable of being tempted by [what is] evil and He Himself tempts no one."

So we can strike that notion right off the bat.

No one ever said we would always have it easy. I thank God that since I have followed Jesus, there have been many, many good days. There has also been times of great trials and challenges. I give Him the glory for leading me through successfully each time. I have learned something during each one. I have learned to even have "joy" through trials knowing that He is going to do something great in the outcome! Forgive me if this sounds kind of weird, but I have come to find that EASY IS BORRRRRINNNNG!

1 Corinthians 10:13 (AMP) - "For no temptation (no trial regarded as enticing to sin), [no matter how it comes or where it leads] has overtaken you and laid hold on you that is not common to man [that is, no temptation or trial has come to you that is beyond human resistance and that is not adjusted and adapted and belonging to human experience, and such as man can bear]. But God is faithful [to His Word and to His compassionate nature], and He [can be trusted] not to let you be tempted and tried and assayed beyond your ability and strength of resistance and power to endure, but with the temptation He will [always] also provide the way out (the means of escape to a landing place), that you may be capable and strong and powerful to bear up under it patiently."

This we must learn to know and expect. Unfortunately, we generally cannot know the fullness of this until we have been through a few battles.

There is something to say for battle toughness.

Listen, let's not be fooled here by the wiles of the enemy. I don't know about you, but for me the toughest trials early on in my pastoral calling has been the gates of hell trying to topple me or persuade me away from being who God has called me to be. There are continual attacks against me all of the time, even right up to this present moment. I have learned how to battle the devil. I have learned to kind of like a good dust up with Satan's flunkies.

Curses have been attempted to be placed upon me, spirits of various kinds have tried to bring me down. Some have been exotic, but the most insidious, and often the most powerful, have been the familiar spirits. Fortunately, I now have become more familiar with them so that I usually spot it a mile before it arrives. I have JOY in battling them and watching them recoil in defeat. In Christ I always win.

I'm not sure where your particular joy will come from, or what will be the most satisfying to you. Mine is when I win in Jesus and am able to give all glory to Him for the Victory! See? That brings joy!

I have learned steadfastness and patience. I have served Him now 26 years, and almost 20 of those years as a pastor. You don't survive that long in the Kingdom unless you are steadfast and patient, and having learned how to have joy in the battle.

Something wicked this way comes, and it will at some point turn down your street.

Be ready. Be joyful and not willing to give one inch. God has a great victory for you. Maybe even today.

We are the Church! Jesus said the Gates of Hell will not prevail against us!

Amen? Jesus never fails!

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

No comments:

Post a Comment