When troubles come your way ...

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

James seems to echo Jesus when the Lord tells us: "Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world." The trials, pain and heartaches of life often makes no sense at all. These things do not create joy or make us happy - to be glad about them is to misunderstand what James is saying. Yet to experience joy in the midst of pain, sorrow and trials is an indication that our heart is connected to heaven.

I think that trials have changed me more than anything. I once wrote that pain has influenced me more than love. When James speaks of growth through endurance, he is basically saying that we must not lose heart when bad things happen to us. When he points to being complete and lacking nothing he reminds us that life is all about the state of our hearts. By trusting in the Lord with all of our hearts, and not leaning on our understanding, we can tap into the joy of the Lord.

I am hurting Lord. Open the eyes of my heart that I might see You in my pain.


  1. Thank you for this, Bob! It's exactly what I needed to hear/read today. I am facing surgery within the next few months, whether invasive or somewhat less so remains to be seen. And in the meantime, I wait to see if the medicine I'm now taking will make a difference. Hope keeps me going and this blog entry is just what I needed today.

    Love to you and Ann!

  2. Bob, I am so grateful for the Father's presence in the midst of suffering. We do not rejoice because of the pain, but because we know our Father loves us and is redeeming it all, including all the mess in our lives. God bless you and your wife, and may his presence lift you up and carry you.


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