Sorry everyone is getting sick - we are praying that your stomachs are settled and that you are getting better with rest tonight. I was reading James 1 :1-18 about testing of our faith and perseverance. A great read for all of us and summary :
1James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations: Greetings.
Trials and Temptations 2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 8he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.
9The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position. 10But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wild flower. 11For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business.
12Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
13When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. 15Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
16Don't be deceived, my dear brothers. 17Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
The book of James begins with what seems like a strange sort of pep talk: “Consider it pure joy . . . whenever you face trials” (v. 2). As James explains, though, this is not a masochistic reveling in pain and suffering. Rather, we can have joy because these trials that weface are for a purpose: “that the testing of your faith develops perseverance” (v. 3). Perseverance means finishing what we start, completing what has been begun, or sticking to the job. Perseverance enables us to press on toward maturity and completeness, “not lacking anything” (v. 4).
The experience of trials allows us to develop the qualities that lead to the completion of a beautiful character that honors God. God will not rest until He has placed the last piece of the puzzle in our lives. These trials are merely sanding the edges of our imperfection, wearing down our old, selfish, human nature. We find perfection not in pampering, but in difficulty. That may not be the answer we want to hear.
The chapter ends with a warning: “Don’t be deceived. . . . Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change” (vv. 16-17). He will help us persevere to the end.
Remain in the Lord and he will provide you the strength!!! God bless you all!!!