Joni and Friends Blog
“When all kinds of trials and temptations crowd into your lives my brothers, don’t resent them as intruders, but welcome them as friends! Realize that they come to test your faith and to produce in you the quality of endurance. But let the process go on until that endurance is fully developed, and you will find you have become men of mature character with the right sort of independence. And if, in the process, any of you does not know how to meet any particular problem he has only to ask God—who gives generously to all men without making them feel foolish or guilty—and he may be quite sure that the necessary wisdom will be given him. But he must ask in sincere faith without secret doubts as to whether he really wants God’s help or not. The man who trusts God, but with inward reservations, is like a wave of the sea, carried forward by the wind one moment and driven back the next. That sort of man cannot hope to receive anything from God, and the life of a man of divided loyalty will reveal instability at every turn.”
James 1:2-4 (PHILLIPS)
Why do some hardships never go away—even after we pray and pray? The pinched nerve doesn’t heal; the job situation doesn’t improve; the marriage doesn’t get any better. Consider this: The core of God’s plan is to rescue us from sin and self-centeredness. Suffering is one of God’s choice tools to accomplish this. And it can be a long process. Some heartaches in our lives won’t be like a 250-piece jigsaw puzzle that can be solved in a single evening. In today’s Scripture, James writes: “When all kinds of trials crowd into your lives my brothers, don’t resent them as intruders, but welcome them as friends! Realize that they come to test your faith and to produce in you the quality of endurance. But let the process go on until that endurance is full developed” (Emphasis mine). God has a long-term plan for your life to mold you into the image of Jesus. The results will be worth waiting for!
Father, help me to embrace the ongoing difficulties and perplexities in my life. I want You to develop my endurance. I want to be stronger and wiser and more like Jesus. But honestly, I get discouraged. I feel impatient when things don’t change. Please restore my faith and hope today.
Are you feeling a storm raging in your life? Joni takes you not out of the storm you feel you are in, but straight into the eye. Because there in the center is a calm, quiet place where confidence, strength, and even joy can be found.
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