Monday, May 16, 2011

Storms that Perfect


This is Pastor Greg Laurie's devotional for today. It spoke to me and I thought it might also speak to you. Greg's son, at the far right in the picture,  was killed in a car accident 2 months after Joey's death. Greg has been a mainstay for me through our common grief for our sons, and his words have often kept me anchored in the storm. Joey's death has profoundly changed me, and I am hoping at least some of that change is for the better.

MONDAY, MAY 16, 2011

Storms that Perfect


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


Some storms in our lives are not the result of our disobedience to God; they are the result of our obedience to Him. A good example of this is Job. What was Job doing wrong when all of those calamities befell him? Nothing. In fact, he was doing so well that God was bragging on him in the presence of the angels and Satan: "Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?" (Job 1:8).


Then the attacks on Job began. These were allowed by God to bring about change in his life. So Job went through a perfecting storm. James writes, "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). The end game of a perfecting storm is to make us more like Christ.


We may think that when a bad thing happens, it will always turn into a good thing, because Romans 8:28 says, "All things work together for good to those who love God. . . . " While there are some bad things that God turns into good things, there are also some bad things that are always bad things. Let's remember the verse that comes after Romans 8:28: "For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son . . . " (verse 29). (emphasis mine)


God's end game is not to make us happy, but to make us holy. And I believe that if we are holy, we will be happy, ultimately. It is not all about happiness; it is about becoming more like Jesus.


Copyright ©2011 by Harvest Ministries. All Rights Reserved.

4 comments:

Jenny said...

Ben's death has made me more aware of my shortcomings and I have tried to correct some of the more offensive bad habits. I want my children to remember me as a happy, loving mom and not a raving, ranting, angry person. Trying to correct my children with more love and less frustration. Not always successful, but I am trying!

I think losing a child makes you take a good look at things, and at least for me, makes me want to make each day pleasing to God.

Robin said...

Personally, I was PERFECTLY content to be imperfect and unholy!

Seriously, I do appreciate this very much. I wish I had had it when I was trying to explain to a group of friends why, the Dalai Lama notwithstanding, I did not see happiness as the ultimate in life goals.

karen gerstenberger said...

I am sorry that he has also suffered this loss, but thankful that he has become a good companion for you on the journey. I take those companions as another sign of God's love for us. You are one of those signs for me.

Anonymous said...

Well said both Karen's.
Gary