This week I studied James 1:12-15. One excerpt in this passage is:
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.
Now, let me skip to last night at work. I was on a conference call from 6:30 to about 8. The majority of our clients now are on the West Coast, so calls like this sometimes are the only time they can meet- and this particular call was to brief us on a need for something in next couple of weeks – the same time period as another very large deliverable of mine.
As we were wrapping up, we were talking about travel dates and availability. Even though my boss dialed in from home, I could tell the strain of his voice as he committed more time on a plane and less time with his family. As they casually put more dates on the calendar – I also was feeling a little overwhelmed at what this month may turn into.
In James this past Sunday our pastor at church was talking about three types of trials: Direct, Indirect, and Passive. Direct trials are direct from God (like when Abraham was tested by God to offer Isaac). Indirect trials are allowed by God but not from God (like Job being tested). Finally, there are passive trials that are completely reliant on the condition of life. They just happen because of the decisions of others or the condition of sin. Apparently passive trials are much more frequently mentioned in the Bible.
So here I am this morning, right smack dab in the middle of a passive trial. I didn’t sleep very well because my mind thought that with all of this work to do that it should try to figure some of it out last night. And as I open scripture this morning I realize I’m supposed to be blessed if I remain steadfast to God in this moment.
So I have a choice: deviate from God because I don’t realize I’m in a trial or feel too busy for God now, or run to God and be blessed with his presence in the midst of this trial.
This will require me ask God for the faith that his presence is the ultimate blessing for me now. I cannot believe that I’m blessed only when things line up the way I’d like them. The true blessing referred to in this passage is not a good night of sleep, going out to Moe’s for lunch today, or even getting the projects themselves completed. The true blessing is receiving God in this moment.
And with God, I hope I can kick this passive trial’s ass.