Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Joy? Really?

"My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing [this], that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have [her] perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all [men] liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him."
"Joy", I like. I want more of it. "Temptation", I don't like. So I looked up the text in Strong's Concordance and here's what I found: The word used for "temptation" is the Greek word, "peirasmos". Alternative translations offered of "peirasmos" by Strong include; "trial, proving, a trial of man's fidelity, integrity, virtue, constancy."
The next translation Strong offers up is that of "enticement to sin, temptation."
I concluded that God tests the constancy of my committment to Him through trials that test my integrity, my fidelity, my virtue. And He does not do this only by allowing us to be tempted to sin---which the translation suggests---but through trials of all kinds; hardship of unemployment, of not having enough money to meet obligations, of being reviled and/or hated, of having to care for someone who doesn't care that we care, of being ill [perhaps for a long time] [perhaps terminally].
Whatever it is that gives us perplexity, difficulty, or trial--- count it all joy, for it is Jesus Christ that carries us through.
We don't have to do this on our own because God has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you", and I take the meaning of never to mean exactly what it says---never!!
Hang on to Jesus Christ! He is coming soon! and whether I am alive or dead it matters not because! Amen.
God Bless. e.c.

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