Faith isn't the ability to believe long and far into the misty future. It's simply taking God at His Word and taking the next step. - Joni Erickson Tada
I had the opportunity to attend an amazing Bible Study last night. I met with a group of "young women" (ages 26-30's). Their passion and zeal for Jesus was beautiful and they inspired me so much! No lie, I felt old sitting among all the young women as they discussed ovulation...eggs dropping (not Easter Eggs)...getting engaged...going back to college, etc. When they asked my age, I laughingly replied, "My eggs are dried up!". I am glad that the bond of Jesus is stronger than our age or season in life. I appreciate these gals welcoming me as part of their study last night. God used this precious group of young ladies to speak to me in numerous ways.
The group is currently doing an inductive study through the book of James. Last night we talked about the "joy" of trials (Chapter 1). The discussion was very real and frank. Questions were raised such as, "How is a trial joyful?" "What does joy mean during a trial?" We even talked about how sometimes we want to trust The Lord with all we have (100%) but sometimes we only trust him with about 85% of ourselves. (I'm glad I'm not alone with these thoughts and questions!).
We basically came to the conclusion that:
- we will not necessarily be happy about our trials but if our perspective is right (trusting The Lord) then part of the joy comes from knowing He is working in us and through us.
- Trials will work for us and not against us
- Trials can bring out the sins that are already there but God will use this time for cleansing and for His glory.
- Trials will re-define us and grow us to be more like Christ (if we allow them too.)
- He will give us wisdom that we need as we persevere through these times
Are you going through a trial/test at this time in your life? I am!! It is nothing major---in fact if I told you, you might laugh. As simple as my trial may seem to others or how simple their trial may seem to me, when we go through them they are REAL! My prayer is that I will pass this test and be purified of all the 'crud' that is in me. (I love how the dictionary defines crud - a coating or an incrustation of filth, something loathsome, despicable, or worthless.). I want Him to re-define me and to grow me. It is so re-assuring to know that during this time He is holding me.
One of my Facebook friends had this picture as her profile picture. I am not sure where the picture came from or who to give credit, however, it spoke volumes to me. It goes along with the theme that The Lord is sending my way this week. Don't you just love when He speaks to us He does so in many ways, shapes and forms!! I am a visual person so He knew I needed to "see" this picture yesterday. (BTW: If you know who the artist is or the origins of this print, please let me know.)
My husband had no clue I was working on a blog post today. He just posted this quote on Facebook. I will accept this as God speaking to me (and maybe you too) again!!
Trials are medicines which our gracious and wise Physician prescribes because we need them; and he proportions the frequency and weight of them to what the case requires. Let us trust his skill and thank him for his prescription.” - Sir Isaac Newton