I sat in my church’s First Sunday worship service last night, a service geared for believers. It is a quiet contemplative time of worship usually followed by communion. I heard a friend of mine talk about mountains and valleys. He said that you often hear that life is good on top of the mountain and that life is bad at the bottom of the valley. But sometimes the trip down is pretty sweet too.
I had a trip down the mountain this week. I had to take my wife to the emergency room late Wednesday night. It turns out that she had pancreitis brought on by a drug that she had been taking for colitis. Even worse, the only other drug option for her, according to the doctor, is a drug used for cancer patients. It would not allow her to have children.
I was thinking of a verse on Thursday morning that throughout my life has been a comfort to me. It’s James 1:2-3. “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” The book of James was written to a group of Christians known as the diaspora, Christians that had been scattered or dispersed into various reasons because of persecution. In the midst of that, James was saying, “Consider it joy…” What? How could they consider persecution and martyrdom joy?
Contrary to heretics who teach prosperity theology, God does not exist to grant our cosmic Christmas list. He created us for his glory. How do I glorify God? I think it is through obedience which springs from faith. I must have faith that God is doing this or allowing this to be done in order to further my faith. Indeed, this past week, I do not believe I have ever felt closer to Him. In that testing, I develop perseverance.
The Christian walk is a series of steps of faith. Throughout my life I have made many and have recoiled from others. The next few posts will be a paper I wrote for a class last year. It is my testimony. It is quite long, I must warn you. But I think the glimpse of where I’m at with God is evident. God bless.
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