Count It What?

Note: I stumbled upon this beginning of a blog post in my writing file today, started New Year’s Eve’s two years ago. I liked it and felt it was worth finishing and sharing…

While I firmly believe that the Bible is the infallible word of God, I do have several questions. Did God, like the writers’ of infuriating mystery movies, leave a few key pieces out, making it impossible to figure out the ending? Colombo might be able to get to the bottom of it eventually, but I am often in the dark. Could it be Colombo’s persistence that I am lacking?

James is one of my favorite books of the Bible. As Jesus’ brother, he is straight to the point and full of really useful advice for daily living. Who better than the Lord’s own brother, a major doubter himself for most of his life, to pass along some inside stuff on the grand game of life?

James only uses one sentence (“Hey, how y’all doin’?” – author’s paraphrase) before he wades in deep with the heavy stuff, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,” James 1:2.

Two points are worth noting in that line, three worth pondering. First, like his more famous half-brother, James does not pull punches. I like that. A soul is a high price to pay for the sake of political correctness or for fear of hurting someone’s feelings.

Second, whenever. Not if, but when. Trials will come, often (usually!) in waves. To believe otherwise is insanity, blasphemy or both. Neither God, nor Jesus, nor the Holy Spirit gave any guarantees of a trouble free life. Quite the opposite, Jesus warned that following him would be a tough assignment, maybe the toughest we would ever face.

Third is the coup de grâce – joy. Joy? JOY!? Was James out of his mind? Smoking Judean weed? How can anyone in their right mind find joy in the midst of trials, suffering or when life, well, sucks? Somebody tell me, at 2:47 in the morning, wide awake and wondering how to face the latest Goliath, where is the joy?

Like Colombo, God’s plot seldom follows the expected line. Looking back from when I first started this peice, the answer is clearer, and I could have saved myself some trouble by simply having kept on reading. Perseverance. I need to experience the trials to develop the perseverance, to in turn develop the maturity. Like Colombo, I have to follow each and every step to uncover the truth and the prize before I can finally count it. No shortcuts, no accelerated program, always “one more thing…” at least on this earth.

 

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 NIV

Comments

  1. How interesting that you wrote this yesterday (and earlier) and we had the discussion we did last night!

    • Tom Hauser says:

      Also interesting we talked about how God would get through all the noise, including different translations of the Bible, with what He really wants us to hear, when He wants us to hear it.

      I loved the discussion!