PASTOR’S CORNER: Chuck Scroggs, Central Christian Church, Liberal
James 1:2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. NIV
As long as I have been a Christian, I have always had a little trouble with Paul’s admonition: “Consider your trials pure joy!” I know what he said is true but it is just a little hard when the devil is putting one of his grade “A” tests and trials on you!
However, as I think back it seems as though each trial and test brought with it knowledge and wisdom. And many times, the prayer would be answered at the conclusion.
I remember one time in particular; when we were living in Muncie, Ind., my wife and I were having money troubles. The trouble was we had a lot of bills and no money. We were two young married kids with 4 kids of our own. We did what we had done many times before, we asked our kids to join us at the dining table to pray and ask God for help. What I am about to share is true to the very last point! As we were praying, our mailbox was on the side of the house right by the front door. We always knew when the mail came because the mail man would let the large cast metal lid close loudly. So, as we prayed we heard the Box! We stopped right in the middle of praying and some one said out loud: “Could that be our answer?” One of the children ran to the door and brought in the contents of the mailbox. “It’s a letter from Arizona!” Someone said as I was handed the envelope. I opened it and there was a card inside. I could tell there was something inside, but I first wanted to get the message from the sender, The card read: “God is ready to take full responsibility for a life totally yielded to him!”
There on the inside was a large check which covered all our bills to the very penny! Now the rest of the story: The check came from good friends in Tucson Arizona. They explained in the card that they were moving and changing churches. They held their tithe back (One tenth of what they made each week) while they had no church. When they found a new church, they said God told them to send all they had saved to us! Our need was that very day. They were 2000 miles away. Their help and card arrived on the very day we needed it. So that meant while we were going through the trial, and concern, God was already working on the answer months in advance! And delivered the answer on the very day we needed it.
Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." NIV
My wife and I had been faithful in our giving to the Lord and this scripture came to mind. Many times, when we are going through challenges, we fail to find out from God’s word what our part is in receiving the answer to our need. Too many folks cry out to God when bad times come but they were not serving him before the trial! If that is the case, turn to him and ask for his forgiveness!
2 Cor 9:6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously NIV
If we are going to depend on God to heals us, help us, deliver us, supply our money needs and all the other things life has to throw our way, He needs to be able to depend on us.