2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.
James exhorts us to endure and to be joyful. Right. Enduring is one thing, but it is another to count it joy until it is over. When rent is due, car payments overdue, when a love one is sick or in general, nothing goes your way, it is almost impossible to be joyful.
My message, is that as tough as times are, they probably will get much worse. The truth is: there is no sugar-coating to make things better.
Not only did Christ die on a cross for our sins, but all of the apostles ended in a similar fate.
Our task, as difficult as it may be, is to endure to the end.
Of course, there are times when rewards will be reaped here on earth, but in the final analysis, the ultimate reward lies in Heaven with Our Father and His Glorious Son.
You will be hated by everyone on account of My name, but the one who perseveres to the end will be saved.
No, in an earthly way this is not joyful news at all. In fact, it is not even encouraging. The only real encouragement get here will be in the hereafter, not in the here and now.
I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?’ He is not the God of the dead, but of the living.”
As Jesus said as recorded by Luke and Matthew, God is the God of the living. And in like manner, Jesus, as his son remains to represent us.
What that leaves us with is faith. And in that faith we are to love and to possess expectations as children of God.
It is all fine and well that we know the scriptures and all the noble trails and deeds our progenitors endured.
As importantly, and perhaps more important, is our acknowledgment of that living spirit that provides testament to us here and now.
These testaments are to be provided by his church. We his church and through our spirit we are to declare that same spirit of Christ that dwells in us.
So then, when things are hard: it is not harder than when out Master suffered on a cross. When times are difficult, impossible, we are to endure and to declare the ultimate Glory of our Father, He who sent our Lord, the Christ. And through Him, he taught us that all things are possbile.