Madison Christian Church

Devotional May 30, 2017

Relaxing is nice and enjoyable. But working out is good for us too. Both are necessary to be balanced. Nothing helps us to get in better physical shape than doing some kind of resistance training. Walking, jogging, lifting and other exercises provide some resistance that stimulate our muscles to grow.

James 1:2-4,12 tells us to consider it “all joy” when we encounter various trials of many kinds because those trials develop perseverance and maturity. We are blessed when we endure trials and we have the promise of the crown of life.

We should expect to go through heartache, pain, suffering and loss in this life as individuals and as a congregation. James says to rejoice not IF but WHEN we encounter such trials.

I have grown much more during the difficult times in my life than through the times of ease. I don’t ask for trials. I am not even close to being as rooted as James and the Apostles were. So I am not yet to where I consider trials “all joy”. But I am learning to continue to focus on the Lord and trust in Him during those storms. Join me in striving to get to where I can count trials as “all joy”. Those are the places where we REALLY experience God’s peace, presence and power.

I have known times in ministry that were very smooth and things seemed to be going “fine” (not great but things were going relatively well). BUT in those times there was not any real life or adventure. It was as if things were almost on auto-pilot. And it was almost drab.

But when a church begins to kind of wake up and start stirring, adversity will come almost in an instant! And the waves will start rocking the boat. Satan does not attack dead or comatose churches.

And many among us will agree with me, there is more joy and life and vitality in the storm with Jesus and moving His kingdom forward than there is trying to just maintain the status quo alone and on auto-pilot.