Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. James 1:2-4 NLT
The rain pattered on my windshield. Three hundred feet ahead the trees were just dark shapes, obscured by the fog and rain. Hitting yet another pothole covered by water, I wondered if my car would fall apart or if my teeth would shake loose from the jolt. I’m ready for sunshine. I love the rain, but we’ve had so much more rain than usual in our dry region that I tire of the frequent storms.
On the other hand, I will never tire of the flowers that have come from the frequent rains! There are more blooms and they are lasting longer with the moisture. Plants grow quickly with the water. We need the rains for the growth that follows.
As I muse about the weather, the Lord reminds me the role of storms in our lives.
Storms hit in life. Problems, temptations, suffering, or sorrow may obscure our view of the Light. All seems dark and dismal. The potholes of life shake us as we go through them. The storm may last longer than we think we can endure. James tells us to consider the troubles as an opportunity for great joy, which seems a strange thing to consider, but the troubles lead to growth.
For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. James 1:3, 4 NLT
The New International Version states that another way.
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 1:3-4 NIV
It is often in the storms that we grow. Buffeted by the winds of change or the stormy trials, we turn to the Lord in desperation. We often seek Him in the storms of life more quickly than when we are basking in the sunshine of everything going well. Our heavenly Father is waiting for us to call to Him.
If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do. James 1:5–8 NLT
Let’s press in to the Lord when the winds blow and the storms come. He will give us wisdom. God will help us grow in our faith and endurance so that we may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Lord, I ask for Your wisdom in the trials. Grow my faith into a beautiful flower that glorifies You. Amen.
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Scriptures marked NLT are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW LIVING TRANSLATION (NLT): Scriptures taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW LIVING TRANSLATION, Copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
Scriptures marked NIV are taken from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION (NIV): Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®. Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™. Used by permission of Zondervan
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