Gifts of Joy

We must consider it gifts of joy when we encounter various trials knowing that the testing of our faith produces endurance.  This endurance has its good result so that we will be perfect and complete (Jas 1:2-4).  When we share in the suffering of Christ keep rejoicing, so when the revelation of his glory comes, it will result in exultation (1 Pet 4:13).  The Lord explains that being drunk is a false joy (Jer 51:39).  But when he turns our sorrow into gladness then will our souls  sing praises unto him (Ps 30:11-12).

Artist and founder of the Japanese martial art of aikido, Morihei Ueshiba (1883–1969) felt, “As soon as you concern yourself with the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ of your fellows, you create an opening in your heart for maliciousness to enter.  Testing, competing with, and criticizing others weaken and defeat you.”  It’s believed a good way to face the problems of life is to be positive.  Testing puts hurdles in our way which are necessary trials for our growth.

Course of Action

Through our intuition we often have to decide on the course of action we should take.  This will be the best way of dealing with our problems.  Brian Grazer (b. 1951), a film and television producer wrote, “You have to trust yourself not research.  Not testing.  Testing helps, but you have to trust your own taste.  If your taste says something isn’t any good, don’t let research rationalize that out of its own truth.”  One’s shoe doesn’t fit all.  A lot of research deals with generalizations but we should know the difference concerning what’s right for us.

Testing can make or break us.  The trick is to stay positive in our daily encounters to obtain the best results.  A former professional boxer Evander Holyfield (b. 1962) was certain: “The word of God steadies me.  He says your trials and tribulations make you who you are.  So you can see my whole story in the way I endured and overcame some testing experiences.”  Testing is like shaping a pot in a kiln.  The final result is what our potter Jesus wants us to be like.

Testing Situations

But still we have to question situations that come our way.  The Bible spells out why we ought to do this.  That is when we are propelled to discern the true gifts that guide us.  Thabo Mbeki (b. 1942), a South African politician remarked, “I think that probably the most important thing about our education was that it taught us to question even those things we thought we knew.  To say that you’ve got to inquire, you’ve got to be testing your knowledge all the time in order to be more effective in what you are doing.”  We should embrace the gifts for testing problems.

Testing however can be a double-edged sword.  Burt Rutan (b. 1943), an aerospace engineer said, “Testing leads to failure, and failure leads to understanding.”  It’s often said we must try again and again and at last we’ll succeed.  Let us view failure as a positive force that motivates us to do our best.  The 39th president of the United States, Jimmy Carter (b. 1924), remarked, “Testing oneself is best when done alone.”  Inevitably, testing begins by taking account of oneself.  We have to be honest about who we are.  To be true to oneself is paramount.  Change begins with us before spreading to others.

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