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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Flower Blooming in the Shade

"Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials; knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." James 1:2-4

Are you beat down and discouraged because every day is a fight to stay on top of things? Are you continually fighting battles you feel ill-equipped for? More than that are you losing ground? Has it all reduced you to "just getting by"? James says that these are productive times. The truth is that you are just like the plant that is not in the direct sunlight, but in the shade and blooming. Things may look bad and they may feel bad, but these are periods of growth that produce endurance which will result in perfection and completeness.

Paul has this to say: "For the God who said, 'Light shall shine out of darkness, is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing greatness of the power may be of God and not from ourselves; we are afflicted in everyway, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing, persecuted, but not forsaken, struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. We we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus' sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh." 2 Cor. 4:7-11.

Are you afflicted, perplexed, persecuted and struck down? God is using you! Christian, you are a picture to the world of Jesus! Don't despair! These trying times are not unproductive. How you endure the worst this world has to throw at you, is your testimony to everyone around you that Jesus is alive. He is the treasure that is the shining light - His power - that carries us through it all. And this is what speaks to everyone around us. Don't fight it. Settle down into His arms and let Him fight this battle. Let Him part the Red Sea. How can anybody know He is a powerful and loving God if there is not the proof of a flower blooming in the shade?

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