2 Corinthians 4:18
as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
With a few other women I am studying the book of James with a guide by Elizabeth George. Everyone's trial is different, one not greater or worse than the other. God uses each one to mold us and to draw us nearer to him. Even in the midst of my personal trials, God has blessed me with the freedom to study His word publicly and write this blog! God has been laying on my heart to pray for those who are suffer persecution in the world for being a Christian and to count it as a blessing that I may love him openly without fearing for my life.
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
After studying James 1:2-4 Elizabeth George writes "A List of Withouts" that I thought was a pretty neat perspective that I wanted to share with you.
Without trials there can be no maturity.
Without clouds there can be no silver lining.
Without clouds there can be no appreciation of sunshine.
Without rain there can be no vegetation.
Without the stress of the storm we cannot realize the worth of an anchor.
Without darkness there can be no rest.
Without night there can be no sunrise.
Without threshing we cannot use the wheat.
Without injury and irritation the oyster will not produce a pearl.
Without a hammer and chisel the stone cannot become a statue, a work of art, a masterpiece.
Without crushing flowers there can be no perfume.
Without trials we cannot be like Jesus.