by Rev Robert A Wendel
“Whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed you will be strong in character and ready for anything. God blesses people who patiently endure testing.” (James 1:2-4, 12 (NLT).
Challenges. Everyone born into this world has his or her unique set of obstacles to confront, not all at once, but scattered throughout one’s days. By my count, there are in fact four types of hurdles: 1) Physical; 2) Medical; 3) Relationships (those earthly and heavenly) and 4) Finances and Property. A mind boggling list.
I recently heard a television preacher sum up stages in life as hurried, worried and buried. The first decade of my existence meant meeting life’s physical demands includes three orthopedic surgery experiences, many walks in parallel bars and up and down countless stairs. Mental challenges came in education and training. Relationships with other people always need attention. Financial stress has been felt the most in my semi-retirement.
I learned the harder it got, the stronger I got. There has been a faith lesson in all of my trials. It’s easy to have faith sitting in church on Sunday. When things get hard, my faith, like an under-developed muscle, is challenged. These challenges push me and my faith stronger, even through pain.
James urges all Christians to show their faith by their works. Paul holds that faith leads to work. James says that works must demonstrate faith. We wouldn’t be tested unless we are doing something serious. It’s like wanting to take a morning walk and finding that the wind nearly pushes you back before you’ve even started.
There are many winds and tides in the human life. In what ways has life tossed you about? Motion picture actor Christopher Reeve (Superman) said, “A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to preserve and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.”