James 2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Sometimes it’s the lowpoints in our life where God gets our attention, when he can really teach us something because we are listening and looking for answers. This was my lesson learned this last year. It was my first year out of college, and although EVERYONE said it would be the hardest year, I didn’t want to believe it. However, regardless of how smart or driven I thought myself to be, real life hit me smack in the schnoz.
I found myself living back with my parents (that in itself, quite a humbling experience), in my hometown away from all my college friends, and job hunting/soul searching. After about a week of job hunting I began to feel all kinds of self doubt, lack of confidence, and lack of self-worth. And let’s just say I was job hunting for much longer than a week. I began to believe the lies the enemy was feeding me: You can’t find a job, you aren’t contributing to society, you are useless in this world.
I worked what seemed like 27 small or short term jobs, jumping from one to the next, not feeling satisfied with where I was or what I was doing. Come winter of that first year, I was completely drained. I had reached my lowpoint.
I couldn’t come to fully understand or believe this truth at the time, but the TRUTH is our worth is found in Jesus Christ. This is not a statement to take lightly. In this lowpoint I not only began to question who I was, but who God was. Was he punishing me? Does He even care what happens to me?
Our security is not based on how we feel but who God is. God is good all the time, and all the time God is good. We are emotional beings, we are high and low. I may show up to work in a great mood, but once I spill my coffee and lose my pen I’m in a bad mood. Even though God is a being and has emotions, He is constant and faithful. He brings joy and comfort in the pain.
Luke 6: 21 Blessed are you who hunger now,
for you will be satisfied.
Blessed are you who weep now,
for you will laugh.
Through the trial God can teach us something. In fact, there are some things only sorrow can teach. The shortest verse in the bible says “Jesus Wept”. Even Jesus who was fully God and fully man had to experience sorrow, even before He raised his friend from the dead. For me, I needed to be in a hard place to really learn how to trust God with my life. I realized being a Christian is not just loving Jesus and getting my free ticket to Heaven, but trusting Jesus with everything. Giving up everything to follow Him; That is what He truly desires.
I needed to put my arrogance and stubbornness aside in order for God to use me. It is in our weakness that His strength truly shows, after all. So I’ll end with this challenge:
Are you living as if God’s grace alone is indeed sufficient for you?