“Under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors.” James 1:3 (The Message)
I have a small, leather-bound book titled, “Daily Inspiration for our Purpose Driven Life.” Have you read The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren? I have read it several times – and I highly recommend it. This little book I have now is an extension of Warren’s original book. It is a chance to reflect on the five purposes Warren defines – to reflect and internalize. Today the reading is related to topic three: Created to Become Like Christ. The challenge is to continue to grow more Christ-like even in the midst of trouble. The question is, how do I respond when I am under pressure? James 1:3 says that’s when my “true colors” show. What are my true colors? What is the color of my faith?
When I asked my prayer partner who comes to my house each week so we can have time in Bible Study, fellowship, prayer, and reflection together, she told me she thinks my faith is green. Interesting – not red and glowing, or yellow and shining, not blue and crystal clear. No, green – – – green and growing. Before she came I had asked myself that same question – and my answer was the same as hers. Green! That’s reassuring.
What color is YOUR faith? Has it been truly tested recently? Have you been thrown into the fires of trouble, temptation and pain? Did you emerge with greater spiritual muscle and moral fiber which produces greater character?
Romans 5:3-4 says “We know that these troubles produce patience. And patience produces character.”
However, Rick Warren wrote this cautionary statement, “Problems don’t automatically produce what God intends. Many people become bitter rather than better, and never grow up. You have to respond the way Jesus would.”
What color was Jesus’ faith? Fully mature, full blown, fully bloomed, a kaleidoscope of colors! Will I ever get there?
To deal with life as Jesus did, I must keep on growing! Keep on studying His Word, praying for His discernment, learning His Will for my life. James 1:3-4 says, “Let the process go on until your endurance is fully developed, and you will find that you have become a person of mature character… with no weak spots.”
No weak spots. No brown on my green leaves. No insect holes in my petals! Wouldn’t that be grand? But, life is not a bed of perfect roses, all sweet and beautiful. Look carefully! There are insects. There are thorns. Those represent the trials, temptations, pains of life. We are promised thorns! Trouble is part of living. It’s not the suffering that defines us, though; it’s our response to the suffering, our attitude toward the pain, how we deal with the bugs!
Isaiah 38:17 “It was for my own good that I had such hard times.”
What color is your faith?