Words from the Heart for Thursday October 20th, 2016
Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
James 1:12 (NIV)
Persevering Under Trial
What keeps an athlete going during a long, grueling race is knowing that there is a prize at the end for those who finish. In the same way, the Christian life is a race with a reward at the end. So don’t give up! Press on! Keep running the race! There is a prize at the end!
The largest medical experiment in history took place in 1954, testing test a vaccine to prevent the escalating ravages of poliomyelitis. This was the Salk vaccine named after Dr. Jonas Salk of Pittsburgh. Close to two million children across the United States and parts of Canada were involved in this field trial, which was orchestrated by the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis (NFIP), or March of Dimes. Canadian involvement in this massive experiment went far beyond testing a small amount of vaccine. The Canadian role was fundamental to the entire project, for without Connaught Medical Research Laboratories at the University of Toronto, there would not have been a trial, or a practical vaccine in the first place. Unlike in the US, the trial in Canada was government funded and the vaccine was distributed free to all children in grades 1-3.
It is a rare person who loves it when life becomes challenging. Most of us prefer the easy and comfortable times, when life goes along smoothly and all is well with the world. But there is truth in the saying that just as we never really know what’s inside a tube of toothpaste until it is squeezed, we don’t really know what is inside a person until they are squeezed. How do you cope, or do you, when trial and tribulation comes your way? The Bible tells us that God’s resources are available to God’s people when the tough times come. James 1:12 says “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” The Bible is brutally honest about life. It never sugarcoats it or tells us to buck up and press on when the challenges come. Instead it promises that God’s grace is sufficient because His strength is perfected in our weakness. The reason that a person is blessed when they have stood the test is because to have done so with victory proves that they have availed themselves of God’s resources during those challenging time. We cannot walk in victory in our own power. We can only do so by taking advantage of God’s grace in the midst of trials. If you are facing a challenging day, ask the Lord to perfect His strength in you today.
These have been words from the heart.