Do you ever feel like you are all alone with what you are going through? Like no one else is going to understand and empathize with you? As Christians, we can feel like that quite a bit.
This verse is going to hit some of us right where it hurts, because we are taught by the world not to look for this at all. You'll know when you read it.
James 1:2-4- "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing."
What are we taught NOT to do by the world? We are told to NOT pray for patience. We don't want to do anything that causes us to go through trials. Trials suck.
We just want everything to be hunky-dory. We want God to teach us how to live; we just don't want it to hurt. We don't want to go through pain. Nope, just bypass that kind of stuff, God.
How many of you, as a child, learned the hard about not sticking a penny in a light socket? How about not sticking your tongue to something metal in the dead of winter? How many times have you rolled the dice about not getting caught speeding?
Patience is defined as "tolerance of delay or incompetence." Sometimes we have to be tolerant of others incompetence. Other times, we require others to be tolerant of our own. I think we fall in the second category more than we care to admit.
Patience is not taught; it's learned. It's a resource you never really learn to use until you are put in situations that require it. And God is exceedingly efficient at helping us to learn patience. Why? Why does God want us to learn to exercise patience?
Honestly, I don't know. We'll know when we see Him in the hereafter. But I think it's to help us get along with each other down here. See, if I realize that EVERYONE may be going through a trial of some sort, I'll be a bit more understanding of them and their situation. I'll be able to look beyond my petty feelings, and see the pain they may be going through. I'll see them through the eyes of God.
And maybe, just maybe, they'll see my example, and learn from it. They'll say, "Wow, if God can do that for him/her, I know He can help me." And if I see it, then I'll know that God has not left me alone with all my troubles.
It's kind of flippant, but God loves us. And sometimes, He loves us enough to allow things to come our way which seem terrible and horrible for a time, but bring us out the other side as better people.
What can we, your brothers and sisters in Christ, help you through today?
Be blessed in the Lord,