Facing Trials

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. (James 1:2-3 NIV)

I was just beginning the book of James, for my personal Bible study, the other day. As I read the two verses from James, above, I began to laugh... Why? Because we had returned home from a ministry trip only a day earlier and found that our home had been broken into. ...Again. If memory serves me well, this was our ninth break-in in ten years... a virtually unthinkable thing for most people. Over the last few years, besides losing an insurance company, having skyrocketing premiums, becoming uninsurable for equipment on the road, having to install a complete alarm system and more, we have done everything a person can physically do to stop these break-ins. And yes, we -- and others -- have prayed. So, why does God allow these things to happen? I don't know, other than to say that they are for His purposes and His glory alone. So all we can do, is keep on -- counting it all joy that God is in control and that it is He alone who provides. As I was reminded in James, joy is based on the One we trust in, not in circumstances and trying events.

And, by the way, the personal violation of having strangers go through your private things diminishes over time and with frequency. Each break-in has served to remind us that all we have has come from God and He will provide. Our insurance deductible for this break-in was $1000 and does not include the repairs to the door frame. Finding the thousand dollars, which must be paid up front, has delayed us in settling this claim, and for now we are doing without the 5 expensive pieces of electronic equipment stolen (not to mention all our Christmas CD's). Pray for us, it will take a miracle to not lose our ability to be insured altogether -- and we have no idea what we will do should that happen.

We are extremely grateful for the Sunday School that sent a hundred dollars to help with the break-in expenses. Meanwhile we're trusting in God. And counting even this trial as "pure joy"!

Written by Brent MacDonald of Lion Tracks Ministries, (c) 1997.
Feel free to duplicate as long as the source is cited.