Excellent, candid discussion this morning in my Wednesday morning Men’s Group. Our topic centered around how to practically live out James 1:2-8 in our lives.
We talked about how God allows each of us to face intractable problems for a reason (so we can grow, actually). We concluded that people grow through 4 broad stages as they face each trial & tried to find ourselves on the spectrum.
- Stage 1 — "Trials ARE NEVER Good" — The default state for most people. Trials stink. Intractable problems are a burden to be weathered. After the trial’s over, watch out. I’m going to be bitter towards God & others. What in the world was God thinking?
- Stage 2 — "Trials WERE Good, in Hindsight" — 1st step of growth. Though it stunk to live through it, & I was a sour, negative person to be around during my trial, now that it’s done, I’m better. I’m thankful for what God did in me. Don’t ever do it again, God.
- Stage 3 — "Trials WILL BE Good, I know" — 2nd step of growth. When I first saw this new, intractable problem, I copped a negative attitude. But I’ve recovered. I’m praying, believing God, & resting in the fact that He will give me the direction I need. Please work, God!
- Stage 4 — "Trials ARE Good, Right Now" — 3rd step of growth. Not only am I praying, believing God will work, and resting in my soul in this trial, I am excited about this new, intractable problem. It will change me inside & show how strong God is. I’m rejoicing, God!
Confessional moment — If you are praying for me, I believe God’s grown me into stage 3 in a deeper way over the last year. I also sense God is calling me to stage 4 and I want to get there — when I see a problem or trial, I’ll be excited & rejoice in what God’s about to do.
This make sense? Thots?