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Count It All Joy

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

James 1:2-4

I have friends and family who have been battling illnesses recently (don't we all?). Some are nearly recovered or healed, others are in remission, and others are still suffering. In comparison to most of them, I have suffered very little in my life.

One friend of mine had a bout with something for weeks. He said it was the most painful thing he had ever been through. One of the things he said, though, was " I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy." I could be wrong, but I do not know if someone who was not a Christian could say that kind of thing. My friend looked beyond his own situation and thought about the well-being of others. My friend is a man of action, one who cannot sit still for very long. I know that his sickness was painful, but it was also very challenging because he is used to moving around. His wife and children had to help take care of him, he was not able to go to work, nor do any work around his home and property. For someone who is always doing something, this was torture.

It was good to see my friend on Sunday. He seemed more than happy to be at church, even more than usual! People could hear his joy as he sang "This Is Amazing Grace" with the congregation. Hearing his testimony, he always thanked God for getting him through it. My friend is a story-teller, and he never left God out of this one. His faith was tested, his relationships were tested, and yet, he made it through with all intact.

When going through health issues of your own, what do you to get yourself through each day? Do you grumble and complain over each discomfort or pain? Do you destroy things because you are no longer able to do something? Do you share your misery with others? If you do any of those things, maybe you should STOP and talk to God. Seriously! You can cry (even Jesus did that), but you also need to look beyond your situation. If you give up on God, how will you ever be made perfect and complete? James tells us that when we go through tough situations that test our faith, our steadfastness (def. the quality of being resolutely or dutifully firm and unwavering) will increase. It will make us perfect and complete.

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