PARAPHRASE IT! James 1:2-4 [NIV] Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
MY PARAPHRASE: Think of the upside fellow followers when the road gets bumpy. Sure there’s jarring, but remember the trip makes the destination that much better.
APPLYING THESE VERSES TO MY LIFE: To quote Francis Chan: “Since when has is become the goal of Christians to arrive safely at death.” To live life the way it is meant to be lived, I need to embraces the difficulties and see them as devotional. Trials are opportunities to be drawn closer and closer to Jesus. I need to remember that I’ll never be all that Jesus would have me be, without the many kinds of lessons ahead.
The verses in James say, “because you know…” – yeah I know that trials, and testing allow for opportunity to be more like Jesus. They also allow for opportunity to draw further and further away. Help me remember that your love is greater than my choices.