What is it in your life right now that is causing you stress?
Seriously, stop and think about it...got it? Now thank God for it. Yes, I said thank God for it.
Am I crazy? Well…
Because it has the potential
to produce a great good, if you let it. Look at this:
2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
Steadfastness literally means to abide under.
How are you doing at that? Are you a person who can "abide under" a great deal of stress, pressure, trials?
Whatever it is you are going through right now, it has the potential to produce something wonderful in your future, but…you have to let it.
4 And let steadfastness have its full effect,
How often to we rush to get out it or away from it?
that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
There is a potential for good in every painful situation, but you can go through pain and not learn from it. Locked with in every trial is potential to make you whole, a better person, a new creation. Think about the people you know who make it through incredible situations and it made them better. Usually they come out tough skinned, but with a soft heart, they have a greater love for people. They are tough in the right places and soft in right places, they are more complete.
When you go through pain, what is it you're lacking?
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.
Pain has the potential to make you wise.
If you remember our series on Proverbs we talked about 3 kinds of people; the naïve, the fool, and the mocker. We said that at various times we are all naïve because we lack the experience or the wisdom to handle a situation. So, guess what produces wisdom, pain.
Many of you are paying FSU a great deal of money for an education, to acquire knowledge, but that is different than wisdom. Wisdom is an understanding of how reality works and how to navigate it well. It's different than knowledge; you can be a genius and not navigate this earth well!
Look at your trials differently; they have the potential to make you wise.
Now that doesn't mean you need to go out and do a bunch of stupid things so you can become wise! James says that those things, those trials will come your way, no need to create them!