Summary: James calls us to trust in God as weather the trails of life
Singin¡¦ in the Rain
August 6, 2006
In the center of main street in Enterprise, Alabama, stands one of the strangest monuments in the world. It’s a memorial to an insect! Handsomely carved in stone is the likeness of a boll weevil. Many believe that divine providence was involved in the circumstances that led to the erection of this unusual statue. In early plantation days almost everyone in the community raised cotton. But as the years rolled on, a serious pestilence infested the area in the form of a small beetle that punctured the boll of the plant. As a result, it became almost impossible to bring a season’s growth to maturity. George Washington Carver, along with several other scientists, became deeply concerned about the situation and began intensive studies to see if any substitute crop could be grown in that part of the country. Raising peanuts was the answer, for they could be planted and harvested with very little loss. In time, cotton gins were forgotten in that region, and it became known as an outstanding peanut center of the world. Soon the farmers’ profits far exceeded what they had earned from their best cotton yield. In the end, they realized that the destructive insect they had feared had actually triggered the research that brought them prosperity.
The Lord often allows trials to unsettle our lives for a blessed purpose. Perhaps we are trying to "grow cotton" when we should be "raising peanuts." If so, the delays and disappointments we experience are just the gracious "boll weevils" sent to redirect us so that we will plant the crop of God’s choosing!
One of the great truths in life is that bad things happen to everyone and how we handle those hard times will be the defining moments in our Christian walk. What kind of statues could you build for the difficult times in your life? What are the deciding moments in your walk with God?
For me it was a car accident. I am sure that I have told this story many times but it is one of those moments when I was changed. I was a junior in college and was driving home after a snow storm. I hit a patch of black ice and the rest is history or at least my car was history.
That accident happened over 15 years ago and I can still remember God speaking to me when I looked back at my wrecked car ¡V are you going to get serious now?
Until this point I was contemplating a possible career in radio instead of ministry and I was coasting through college without a lot of cares. I was doing what I wanted to do and suddenly everything changed for me in that one moment. Out of that one difficult night a number of new commitments were made in my life and I was changed by a trial that looking back I am thankful for
If you have your Bibles we are going to continue our study of the book of James. Open them to chapter 1 beginning with verse 2
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6 But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.
When life hits you with a curve, you have a choice to make; you can either become bitter or you can become better. The Bible is filled with people who endured the curves in life.
ƒæ Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers
ƒæ Jeremiah was thrown into a well
ƒæ Joseph and Mary fled to Egypt with the infant Jesus
ƒæ Jesus was betrayed by His disciples: Judas may have turned Him over to the Jewish leaders but the rest turned and ran to save themselves
ƒæ Peter and John were beaten for preaching the gospel
ƒæ Paul was beaten and thrown into prison
The trials that you and I face are the curves that life throws our way. How we choose to deal with them speaks volumes about our Christian character and commitment. Hard times are precisely that ¡V hard. If life were always easy we would never appreciate the reality of heaven.