James 1:2-4 (NASB) Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
As a bowhunter, I expect difficulty. Over the river and through the wood. As a western bowhunter, throw a mountain in that equation. Rough or no trail, early morning pitch black starts, late night finishes, long miles, scree fields, blisters, sleet, hail, rain, snow, wind, sun, heat, dust, mud and blood all come with the territory. Some of the places we’ve gotten to over the years, some of the sights we’ve beheld and tags we punched, couldn’t have been without an acceptance of the difficulty in acquisition.
There’s parts of the difficulty that I enjoy, look forward to really. In some regards I enjoy and even crave the challenge. There’s a pride, probably an ego and arrogance dimension, as well. No… there definitely is (something I need to work on). There’s power in partnerships and team work. There’s satisfaction in helping see another pull their way through it. These elements are necessary or, I simply think, a person wouldn’t do it. Most wouldn’t anyway.
Despite my love of these pursuits, there are elements that push me to my limits, force me back, break me down. There’s times I want to quit, there’s times I do. There’s far off ridgelines I set out for and reach only because my compatriots urge me onward. There are a great many moments, situations, outcomes, failures in our adventures that are horrible. They suck. However, even in these hardships there is a greater work being done. There is a refining process taking place, molding, shaping and preparing us for our next challenge, the end goal. It may not always feel like it, but each test, each trial is making us better at what it is we hope to endure and accomplish. The choice is between pushing on or quitting. The choice is between adopting an attitude of gratitude, looking forward to the awaiting joy and glory or giving in to despair and perhaps falling short of the greatest of victories.
More often than not, our greatest blessings, triumphs, joys and accomplishments are realized at the end of our greatest struggles. Having faith that God has us through these difficult times in life, doesn’t erase the suck. It does, however grant us peace, knowing that the journey leads to glory and provides us the fuel to push through and embrace the suck, no matter what! Have a blessed weekend!
James 1:12 Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.
In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,