Trials, Testing…and Joy

A strange mix of words: “Trials, Testing and Joy”. Seemingly oxymoronic (is that a word?) when contained in a single sentence.

There is a passage in the bible, recorded in the book of James, chapter 1: verses 2-4

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (NIV)

How often do we find ourselves wanting to be out from under the pressure of a certain situation? How seldom do we find ourselves willing to invest pain for gain? I fear we are short-sighted indeed. Maybe its just me…but sometimes I think I have had enough. Its tough enough that we have to master our craft (vocational skill), and to overcome many obstacles (world markets, currencies, regulatory policies, and so on)…not to mention the effort it takes to align people and get the whole team working toward a common objective…BUT then we also have to be master over our own mind and spirit. Self-talk is huge, especially when energy or enthusiasm wanes.

The evidence of faith must be joy, for it must be the firmest of conviction that everything will be well in the end.

On a lighter note…let me share a Calvin & Hobbes comic strip with you:

Miss Wormwood (Teacher): ” You have a question Calvin?”

Calvin: “Yes! What assurance do I have that this education is adequately preparing me for the 21st century? Am I getting the skills I need to effectively compete in the global economy? I want a high-paying job when I get out of here! I want opportunity!”

Miss Wormwood (Teacher): “In that case, young man, I suggest that you start working harder. What you get out of school depends on what you put into it.”

Calvin: “Oh. Then forget it.”