Good Morning Everyone,
Our theme for this month: “Pushing through adversity”
Our Bible verse for today: “Consider it great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.” James 1:2-4 (HCSB)
Our thought for today: “There is something to be learned from this.”
My first thought when I read the words of James in verse two above is “You have got to be kidding!” I’m supposed to consider it “great joy” when I experience adversity in life? It reminds me of the silly television commercial about goofy people who get weird satisfaction from bad things happening to them. One guy laughs when he bangs his head; another lady guzzles spoiled milk and likes it; another is laughing hysterically because his arm is caught in a vending machine. Considering such things to be “great joy” is dumb!
But James was actually teaching an important spiritual truth about how God uses the trials and tribulations of our lives to mold us and shape us into better and stronger people.
Michelangelo was one of the greatest painters who ever lived. His most famous work is the murals he painted on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. But in addition to being a great painter, Michelangelo is also known for his beautiful sculptures. He was an expert at working in marble and his most famous statue is of King David. It is so detailed that it is lifelike.
As his statue of David was nearing completion, a man was in Michelangelo’s studio watching him as he carefully chipped away pieces of marble. The man was amazed that Michelangelo seemed to intuitively know what marble to remove and what to leave in order to achieve the exact image he was after. When the man asked him how he knew what to chip away and what to leave Michelangelo replied, “I just chip away everything that isn’t David.”
That’s the lesson James was teaching. That’s how God uses our times of adversity and trials. He is a sculptor molding us and shaping us into the men and women He wants us to be. As we face the adversities of life God teaches us lessons, makes us stronger, and essentially chips away all that is not the “us” (the finished product) that He has in mind.
James’ point was that as you push through your adversity you are learning and growing and becoming stronger. Through this time of trial God is changing you, growing you, making you better. And for that, you should be glad.
We can probably agree that there is little joy to be had from having your arm stuck in the vending machines of life – except that you have now learned not to stick your arm into vending machines! So James would tell you to rejoice and be glad that you’ve just learned an important and helpful lesson!