Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. -James 1:2-4
We get to consider it pure joy, not somewhat joyful and definitely not at all dreadful, but complete and utter joy when we face trials. Not just some trials, but trials of many kinds. There are many trials that God will send your way in life, and He wants to help you, and strengthen you, and bring you closer to Himself through those. He isn't punishing you. When you pray that He would be close, and that you would know Him better... chances are you're going to go through something tough. Maybe that means you'll have to rely on God for some pretty hefty provision, or you lose a loved one, or you have to work really hard to restore a relationship in your life, or you won't have a job for a while, or everyone will hate you. Maybe it means you'll feel no closer to God, but He wants you to keep asking so that you really know how much you want Him.
When these things happen in our lives, we are being completed. God is constructing us to be the complete beings that we will be in heaven. We won't lack anything. We'll finally be whole. Finished. We won't need prayer, or trials, or spiritual gifts because we'll be right there with our creator. We'll be in His arms, resting from our hardships here on earth. We'll be in eternal rest. I don't want to get to heaven, and then, even for a moment, have to think, "I wish I'd done more on earth." I want my rest in heaven to actually be rest because I really was working hard here.
So, I want to take the trials and the testing. I want to work. I want to be tired when I'm done, so that when I get to heaven, God can say, "Well done, good and faithful servant."
Friday, May 4, 2012
Keep that in your mind, and we'll go to the other side of my point. You know how people always see pretty things, (particularly sun sets and sun rises) and take pictures of them? They take pictures because they look so beautiful, but personally, my pictures NEVER turn out the way I want them to. It always looks more beautiful to my eye. A picture simply cannot capture all the magnitude of the glory that is beheld in the sight. Look at the picture above. The photographer described this sunrise as "magnificent," but it looks quite ordinary to me. The picture could not capture the atmosphere, only the visual, and even still... the visual is not as beautiful in the picture as in person. The picture can't make us feel like we are surrounded with all the sunlight, dew, and fogginess of this London morning. Our eyes and our senses do that! God created us with such perfected senses that we can experience the magnificence of moments like the one that this photographer attempted to capture. We can't create a camera that could ever do that for us.
So, God created the beauty, and God created our senses. He didn't create the beauty for our senses, and yet He created our senses for the beauty! To have eyes, and a nose, and nerves, and ears to experience moments like this is the most sublime blessing I can imagine. It's not for us, and yet we are allowed to take part in it.
Praise God! Praise His Holy Name!
Picture taken by: nhilmy