The first and perhaps most important part of the answer to this question is that it is possible – it is possible to transform our heaviest, hardest and most ominous experiences into the fertile ground of acceptance, growth and change. To make this transformation happen, we need a specific pattern to follow, and it just so happens that this pattern is neatly laid out for us in the first chapter of James. Verse two of James 1 shocks us into paying attention to what is about to follow:
James 1:2: (NASB) Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials...
Now, on the surface this may not seem unusual as it seems that James is telling us to consider – to think about a different perspective – to try on a different way of thinking. Well, as is so often the case there is much lost in translation here. You see, to “consider” in this particular context carries the meaning of “fix in your mind as truth” an absolute statement of perspective rather than a mere idea or suggestion. So if we were to paraphrase this seemingly benign statement to try and really capture its meaning, I think it would sound more like; fix in your mind as truth that it is a cause for calm delight (joy) when you encounter (are surrounded with) various trials (various ways of being proven).
Now, let’s be practical...who in their right mind is going to have calm delight when their life is falling apart? Actually, to really be practical, the question needs to be rephrased. We should rather ask; who would like to know that when their life seems to be falling apart, there really are powerful and positive reasons behind it and the end result will be amazing beyond their comprehension? You see, this is what James is driving at – this is how he is getting our attention!
Please check out our June 26, 2016 broadcast entitled, “How do You Stand When Life gets too Heavy?” and see how to fill in the process James lays out for us to bear the heaviest burdens of our lives. It is a truly remarkable journey that has the potential to take your burdens, reveal their blessings and give you the strength to carry them - and who doesn’t want that?
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