Friday, December 2, 2011

What's It Worth?

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. ~ James 1:2-4
How we view the “worth” of an object, a circumstance, an experience even a person... influences how we respond to it. You would think if you were given something that has great worth, you would received it with a heart of joy and gratitude...but that’s not always the case. 
Some things we receive in this life are hidden inside an outer casing that has no beauty by itself but inside holds the most perfect gift. Like a hidden diamond, too often I’ve only seen the blackness of a cold rock that I want to toss as far away from myself as possible. Yet, If I choose to patiently wait, observing and learning from the One who placed that ugly rock into my hand...I will see the black and rough edges give way to reveal the many beautiful facets of a valuable jewel that will give me great joy to last a lifetime.
So let’s consider together the worth of some “ugly rocks” that may have been placed into our hands. As a Christian...Is Christ worth our obeying even when we experience the pain of a spouse or friend’s unfaithfulness to us? Is Christ worth trusting when our financial security is threatened or even destroyed? Is Christ still worth adoring when our physical health cripples us? 
Is Christ worth serving when a loved one dies “too soon”? Is Christ worth all our devotion even when our actions are misunderstood and our faith slandered? Is Christ worth giving all honor and glory to and is the crown of life promised by God still worth our perseverance in faith when we lose everything this life once held so dear to us?

For me the answer is a decisive “Yes”! Yes Lord... it is worth whatever the cost is for me to experience the joy that comes from living a life that is filled with your purpose. I no longer desire achieving the things this world once held my attention of and left me unsatisfied, craving for something more.
It took losing someone I greatly loved for me to finally understand what James was actually talking about when he encourages us to “consider it pure joy...whenever you face trials of many kinds.” 

When my husband died, I thought it was reason enough for me to lose all joy. I questioned God, asking him how I could ever “consider” experiencing such deep pain and sorrow could ever produce joy in me. 
God is faithful..He keeps all His promises. The Lord led me through the pain of loss to discovered the greater treasure in life is to know Him more intimately. My agony in the hands of God produced in me a multi-facet jewel of wisdom. I developed a better understanding of God...something that I would never have experienced otherwise. 

In the years since my husband’s death I’ve seen and experienced the many benefits of knowing God far better than ever before. You might be knowing God as I do now...worth the suffering it took to get me here? 
Although I would not have chosen the death of my beloved husband to be my path to know God as I now do...I would not want to lose what I have gained by what it seems only Brad’s death could have brought for me to such knowledge. The Lord has given me an understanding of who He is by what He has brought me through. The compassion and wisdom and insights from Christ that filled my empty heart, helped me to see that our circumstances in this life are not made up of things that are to be only considered as “good” or “bad”... but as opportunities for God’s purposes to be lived out.  
God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. ~ James 1:12
The great worth of the Lord’s blessings, His kingdom and the certainty of receiving the crown of life are worth immeasurably more than the vain attempts I once sought after by clinging to the values that had me desiring only ease and comfort in this life.

The decision to praise God and say that “Christ is worth obeying, trusting, adoring, serving, giving devotion to, honoring, and is worth of my perseverance in faith... no matter what comes my way in this life... is one that becomes from realism and accepting the wisdom to "consider it pure joy", whenever we face trials of many kinds.

However reluctant I may have been to embrace it, I have learned suffering when received rightly... is one of God’s most abundant means of giving grace. Glory.

Reveal the perfect Jewel of Jesus in me...

                             How I just love you Jesus!


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