No one enjoys experiencing trouble or is happy about the stress of temptation. Yet, James tells us to “consider it an opportunity for great joy.” I think what he means by this is best illustrated by a student struggling to learn a new concept or skill. If easy to do, there is less fulfillment in the accomplishment. But when you have to work really long and hard (with failures along the way) to achieve your goal, the victory is even sweeter!
Questions for further thought:
1. When have you experienced the great joy of overcoming a difficult obstacle in your life?
2. How is your spiritual endurance?
Challenge: Just as athletes work out physically to build their endurance, so must we develop our spiritual “muscles” so we can endure testing and temptation. Choose a new way to “exercise” spiritually or add to your current “workout.” Remember that unused muscles will atrophy.
This devotional is written every week by Hillcrest members.
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