November 27, 2019
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” – James 1:2-4
The other night we had three children with the stomach flu all at the same time. My wife and I took shifts all night long caring for our 5 year-old, 7 year-old, and 13 year-old. Every little sound would make us jump out of bed and run to their room, making sure to minimize clean-up as much as possible each time. As you can imagine, it was a very long night. At one point in the night, my wife looked at me, reflecting on the several months from last year when I didn’t have use of my arms and needed constant care, and she said to me; “We’ve been through a lot worse than this.”
The trials we face mature us and prepare us for the difficult days that still lie ahead. They give us strength and wisdom. But those trials accomplish another aspect of maturity: gratitude. As difficult as the other night was, it reminded me of all God had brought us through. And when those trials came to mind, I was instantly thankful, even in the midst of the difficult times. Whatever trials you face, trust God’s Word; on the other side there is greater maturity. There is great strength, greater perseverance, greater patience, greater wisdom, and yes, even greater gratitude.
Heavenly Father, we each take for granted the blessings in our lives, especially the blessing of Your salvation, care, and guidance. Use every one of our trials to guide us into a deeper thankfulness.
In Christ’s Service,
Pastor Shane Cannon