Steadfast and Sanctified
Steadfast and Sanctified
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
James 1:2-4 (ESV)
W e are not in control.
Of course we aren’t. I’ve known this for years. Even back to my Sunday school days, this has been ingrained in me. But God is great at reminding us of these simple truths when we need to hear it most.
Back in March, I found out I had mono. I spent weeks at home, feeling so sick, watching all of my plans for those weeks come and go from my bed. And because when it rains it pours, during this time, I also found myself experiencing deep heartbreak and confusion. Friends moved away. New career opportunities weren’t lining up as I thought they would. Even as I’m writing this, it is still pouring. I’m home sick with COVID-19 — the icing on the cake of a really difficult spring.
In the midst of these trials, I’ve asked God why many times. And in the middle of all the confusion and sadness I’ve felt, God has reminded me of the simple truth: He is in control of our lives. In the valleys and the mountain tops, God never relinquishes control. None of the circumstances that mislaid what I thought would happen were a surprise to God.
Father, You see us in our pain and You comfort us in our pain. But you also tell us that our trials can be counted as joy because they’re producing steadfastness in us. Sanctify us, Jesus. Draw us close.
Resting in that knowledge has filled me with divine peace. The trials have still hurt and some days have been tougher than others, but I can confidently say even through tears that “the Lord is working for my good” because He has been orchestrating my life from before time began.
In the book of James, James addresses trials in chapter one. It reads:
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2-4).
These verses have been a lifeline lately when I feel like I’m drowning in the ocean of life. When we meet trials of various kinds, we can count it all joy because they are producing steadfastness in us. And that steadfastness is sanctifying us.
Whether your current trials are big or small, with the power of Jesus Christ in us, we can count them as joy.
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