On August 6, 2018, I went to the host church to for the Hong Kong – Kowloon Revival Meetings. The speaker who was recently ill passionately quoted Zinzendorf’s philosophy of life: To preach the gospel, to die and to be forgotten.

I reacted immediately because I did not want to forget my wife who passed away two years three months ago then. At the end of the sermon I bravely yielded and said to God, “OK, I ALONE will to be forgotten.” Three days later I had a minor stroke, confined to the bed for three days to taste what it was like. Worse I was not given food or drink with one CT scan after another to make sure the bleeding on the left side of my brain did not continue after that aberration.

In the hospital were cleaners and staff not on the medical side who were swift to get their daily chores done and strip patients of their dignity. Unfortunately I was placed with old folks who were mostly bed-ridden and needed cleaning. I often had to be careful they don’t strip me of all my clothes, but I must confess I was down to my briefs trying to fend them off. I never thought I would be thankful that I had nothing to eat or drink because I did not have to go to do the big business on the bed.

We all face trials, temptations and tests every day, saint or sinner, young and old, rich or poor. Some toughen us, some strengthen us and some soften us. Some folks remain faithful, fruitful and Some suffer and sulk, some suffer and sigh, and some suffer and succeed.

What kind of attitude must we have facing suffering? Where is God when we suffer? What resources do we have? Where is God when it hurts?

Be Triumphant in Trials

1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations: Greetings. 2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do. 9 Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position. 10 But the rich should take pride in their humiliation—since they will pass away like a wild flower. 11 For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business.

One day there was young man, a traffic officer who happened to be riding in a public transport to work and on the road, it happened that the bus he was riding on came across a terrible accident where people we scattered on the road , because people like to stir! This young man himself when he reached the scene started panic, , because he was alone, and not only that he was also but he had forgotten of the power he had as traffic office simply because personally his life that was in a ruff stage, the challenges of life were weighing on him like a heavy rock; and when bus came to the incident nobody knew what to do because he himself felt helpless and he called for people to phone the traffic office but people we suppressed, some tried to channel the cars but they couldn't do it! It was only when one granny came to him and asked of him if he could lend him his uniform so that she could control the traffic, and that's when it came to his sense that he had the power to change the situation.

Consider (v 1, hegeomai) is an imperative, translated as think (Acts 26:2), esteem (Phil 2:3), suppose (Phil 2:25), count (Phil 3:7) and rule (Heb 13:7), of which the last one (rule) is also translated as Governor (Matt 2:6) and chief (Luke 22:26). It is used in English for “hegemony” or “dominance.” It is a forceful and fierce shift in thinking, not a fun or feeble detour. The early church faces various temptations (vv 2, 12) – from persecution, poverty and other pitfalls. The more the pressure, the more the perseverance. The verb form “tempt” occurs thrice in verse 13 and once in verse 14. James did not say trails are good but to turn it into joy with or in the knowledge that it will produce patience, also translated as patient continuance (Rom 2:7) or enduring (2 Cor 1:6) elsewhere in the Bible.

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