Friday, March 8, 2013

Joy in Trials? You’ve got to be kidding!

There is some joy that can only come after we’ve been to hell and back. It is the joy of victory. The joy of knowing the sufficiency of God in tough times.

We typically try and isolate ourselves from distress. We want to protect ourselves from difficult situations. Watch TV news shows and after a tragedy the discussion is how can we prevent this from happening again. The short answer is we can’t. Life cannot be managed to the point we can stop bad stuff from happening.

Not far from where I grew up lived the Bubble Boy. I didn’t know that then. David had no immunity system and was placed in a sterile environment within his bedroom that kept out all the bacteria and viruses that could kill him.

He lived alone within his own bubble yet had family just outside his reach. No hugs, no kisses, no holding. But he had life.

I don’t discount living but that was no life. Life is to be embraced—good along with the bad—and however long or short it is through it we learn the power of God in our circumstances.

None of us will ever live in a bubble, but how much fear do we surround ourselves with that keeps us isolated from life. It's the what if’s that can shut us down as quickly as a real threat.

James said to consider it joy when we encounter various trials. Trials are the difficult times of life. We can’t stop them from coming. We don’t design our lives to avoid them. We expect them. And we know that going through them will produce a greater version of us than before.

I hate it when my computer decides to upgrade. It slows things down, stops my momentum and frustrates me considerably. But the upgrade is necessary to make my computer more efficient. I can probably block the upgrading but in doing so I rob myself of the advantages of the upgrade.

Trials upgrade us. The version we are needs some additional input to ready me for the next phase of my life. As much as I dislike it, I need it. I can isolate myself from it but to do so robs me of the joy of experiencing God at my deepest level.

Question: When was the last time you upgraded?

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