"Have you thanked God for the life He's given you? Even the trials?"
From friends and family to work and beyond life has been one twist after another lately. Things have been confusing, irritating, flat out wrong, full of people who are indecisive and careless. As a result my soul has been cast down and my spirit has been lacking the joy that is usually there. I've been troubled about many things and instead of relying on Christ as my Rock I found myself focusing instead on my circumstances and worrying about what I was going to do about them.
Last night I was texting a friend about something we were supposed to do today. I was not very optimistic about the outcome and finally told him, "I'm just tired of my life in general and this is yet another problem at the moment." To which he responded with the quote above, "Have you thanked God for the life He's given you? Even the trials?" It was as if God were saying, "Hey girl, quit your whining and complaining, I'm getting tired of it! You need to focus on Me instead of you, and you need to find that there are things in life to be thankful for, even in the worst of times." I felt as though I were a three year old and had been caught getting into something I shouldn't have and been thoroughly spanked. I'd been so busy focusing on circumstances rather than on God. All the problems that I was having were only made worse by the attitude I'd had towards them.
This morning I went to the book of James and read, "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials. Knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing." (James 1:2-4) Patience, what an awful word. According to the Merriam-Webster's dictionary patience is "the ability to remain calm and not become annoyed when dealing with problems or with difficult people." So that was pretty much a second spanking. Obviously I failed miserably in this area over and over again. However, there is hope to the passage in James, the very next verse says, "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given him." (James 1:5) Also according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary the word wisdom is defined as, "good sense." So putting that word into the verse it would read something like this: "If any of you lacks good sense, let him ask of God..." So here I am, realizing that I'm handling all of these situations completely wrong, and I have no idea how to handle them. Yet the Bible clearly states that trials bring about patience, but if we don't know how to bear the trials all we have to do is ask God and He will give us the knowledge we need to deal with them.
God doesn't want His children focused on their circumstances. He wants them to focus on Him. Praise Him. Thank Him. Live for Him. He desires for us to be so dependent on Him that we automatically hand over our struggles to Him. He alone has the answers, nothing is up to us. Only when we thank God for the life He has given us can we then appreciate all that He has done for us. This is a lesson I am sure I will be learning over and over again, but God is gracious and long-suffering and He will always welcome us back to fellowship with Him.