Sunday, October 25, 2009


Dear brothers and sisters, whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. For 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 strong in character and ready for anything. (Jam 1:2-3 NLT )

I struggle with verses like this. You can find many of them in the bible. What they all have in common is this sense that we should all be excited about our problems. Maybe I'm just a cynic or maybe it's just my life experience but I really don't think that that's what these verses are about. Yesterday I read this scripture in a new way. It came to life for me when I thought about what I've been experiencing the past few days.

I’m no longer sick with my infection. Having the infection derailed me from the things I've been trying to do. I found it difficult to get back on track. I've been overwhelmed at work and not dealing with my stress well. I'm really tired and the reality is that huge part of me wants to give up. That scares me.

I think often when people read this verse or even when some teach about they think it means "suck it up. " Today I read it as " don't give up". You see I think it can be really discouraging to hear that we should embrace our pain. But when I read this that's not what I hear. What I hear is a resounding " keep going, you can do it, it'll get better if you just keep trying".

It's not really the falling down that we need to take joy in. It's the getting up. For that is the hope of Christ.


RosalieG said...

Yes, verses like this and troubles seem pointless. Yes, when we are out of commission we get behind - and very quickly. We need housekeeprs and errand runners....

Give yourself grace, and look at yourself how God does. He created you perfectly and loves you immensely. We have to get up because he has work for each of us to do that is unique to each of us. The fun is in discovering all the facets of what that special work is. And, it is all around us in our day to day travels.

God bless, take it a day at a time, and get busy with the work he planned in advance for you to accomplish :)

Ephesians 2:10
For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

She... said...

It is quite curious to hear different takes on ideas.

I've always taken it as a suggestion to view problems as "yes, this really does suck. but when I've met and passed this obsticle, I'll have a really good skill to use."

It kind of fits in with the "whatever is good, whatever is pure, whatever is truthful" verse. Focus on the good bits, and the bad bits don't seem quite as bad.

Lately I wonder if this is a crazy way to look at life... but it sure seems like life is happier??

mom_of_4 said...

I like your take on it.

The "don't give up" attitude is a powerful one to have. And I don't think Jesus was a "suck it up" kind of person either, nor do I believe He would appreciate us telling that to each other when we're hurting.

Anonymous said...

Coming from a strong "suck it up" background, I usually read these verses this way too.

But, you are right. There is a comforting level of support... encouragement in there somewhere.