“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” - James 1:2-4

Isn’t this just a pure joy to look forward to......trouble!!!! but joking aside it is true isn’t it? We all have troubles some are small and some are deep and hideously painful. But with each trouble that comes into our life we have a choice to make don’t we. A lane to pick. We can choose sinking (even though it feels like sinking is choosing us) or we can choose to look up.

With Joy@KemptonPark only round the corner now I seem to have had lots of reasons to “sink” (not surprising but painful none the less). Three funerals, breast lumps (too much info!), massive allergic reactions to bites, my auto immune disease ramping up a gear and actually the thing I am finding most hard of all is God refining me and my behaviour right now which as you can imagine is so much fun!

And I have to admit on Sunday I was a little bit done. So I went and got prayer and cried......a lot! Yes I felt totally sorry for myself. But do you know what when I went and retreated on Monday I was able to see God’s presence in it all, see Gods love and Gods faithfulness in it all. Hear His voice and His promises for my future.

Literally just as this verse says through some of the most challenging times my faith has grown, deepened and helped me develop a new thirst. Just like it says. But did this all just happen? No. It required me to get up each day and spend an hour with Him reading my Bible. Even when I was tired, couldn’t FEEL His presence and just plain didn’t want to. It required me to seek Him out and TRUST when I felt lost and angry and alone. It required me to worship and sing when I didn’t WANT to.

Because that is what faith is about.

Knowing the truth of His word even when you don’t feel it. It is about being in relationship and relationships need attention and work. It is not about feelings. If we only do what we feel like doing then we miss out on trusting His presence and love in the darkest of places. That is why knowing the truth of His word is vital. Spending time singing, praying and listening is vital ALL the time. So that when you are feeling lost you will know what His voice sounds like and trust in the TRUTH of His promises. Otherwise the only voice you will hear is the voice of the world telling you your value lies in how much money you earn or what your job is.

So today I ask you - what are you doing to build your endurance for the trials that come? Are you ready? Is your foundation strong? Seek Him today and learn to hear His voice so that when trials come your endurance has a chance to grow #lovewins

Rowena Cross
Director of Mission, Evangelism & Discipleship