Are you struggling? Maybe it is a job, your health, your marriage, your children, your attitude, or a variety of other things you are dealing with. I know I struggle. Lately, my struggle has been with trying to learn Greek. Memorization is not my strong suit. And I have allowed it to affect my attitude at home and at school. I have been only able to focus on what I cannot remember, and that I "only made a ___ on that quiz." Though that is small potatoes compared to some trials we face, we struggle with many things. We often encounter problems and difficulties in this world.
In James 1:3-4, it says, "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." Say what? I am supposed to be happy when things are tough? Well, notice two things:
First, problems are something we must encounter. What is interesting is the word translated "encounter" is used only 2 other times in the New Testament. In Luke 10 it is the word used in the parable of the Good Samaritan, when it says the man "fell" among thieves. It is used again in Acts 27 when it tells of the ship "striking" the reef. We no more want to encounter trials in life than the man wanted to be robbed or the sailers wanted to crash. However, problems still come our way..
Second, problems are something we must consider. The word translated "Consider" is a word whose root primarily means to lead, or be a leader. In other words, the passage is saying is we must lead our mind to think of those hard times in a positive way. We decide how we will view or think about this trial we face. What the Lord is telling us through James is we are going to have trouble. We are going to have problems. We are going to have to endure hard times. However, It is up to us to lead our mind to the positive. It is up to us to decide and determine how we will face and deal with those trials.
I must do better. I must make my mind see the grade as the percentage I do know, not the percentage I missed. I must do better and be a positive influence in my home and in my school. I must do better.
For you see, when we can begin to look for those positive things ... When we can begin to make ourselves see through the dark and focus on The Light ... When we begin to have an eternal perspective on the things that happen here on this earth ... Not only can we make it through our hard times, we can also become stronger ourselves, and be better equipped to help others!