Instant Fine Wine

Read: James 1: 1-17fine wine

 

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James 1: 2(ESV) Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds.

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 1.    James, Jesus’ brother, wrote to encourage Christians everywhere as they endured persecution.

2.    James said “whenever” and did not say “if” trouble comes, hence outlining the essential quality of a Christian’s life.

3.    Tested faith yields endurance, which yields growth toward God, which yields a stronger character and readiness to serve humbly.

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 What do you say to someone who has lost their job, or lost a spouse, or lost a child, or is going through the worst time of their life? Do we start with, “I know what you are going through”? How about quoting scripture, “Consider it pure joy…”? Who do we think we are fooling? I have struggled with James 1:2 most my life, and several weeks ago God put it in front of me again.

So much of my life has been wasted. Instead of trusting God, I worried over troubles and let Satan steal the joy which God so lovingly provided and intended. I permitted myself to get angry and bitter. God intend for me to age like a fine wine, instead I feel I have aged more like a fine milk. The American dream, provided by our constitution, affords us the opportunity to pursue happiness. God’s dream, provided us in His word, has always been for us to pursue joy with Him.

I have never tried to escape my trials through alcohol, drugs, gambling, or adultery. I have not lost my family, security, or life due to my addiction to happiness. I have lost my job, then my house, and then my hope. I reached a point where I asked God to give my wife and children a real man and replace me. In the stillness of my prayer that day, He said, “I’m not done yet”. Through my hardships, insignificant compared to most, I learned that the only true power and joy comes when I am on my knees and in His word.

We live victorious lives when we are able to proclaim God’s goodness and love while in the heart of the storm. A Godly testimony can only come from true tests and flawed lives. Like a fine wine, it takes time, hard work, suffering, and patience. Who heard of instant fine wine anyway?

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Loving Father. Nothing happens without Your permission. In Romans 8: 28, You said for those who love You, all things work together for good, for those who are called according to Your purpose. Do what You want with me. In Your name I pray. Amen.
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