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September 26, 2012

“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.”

–James 1:2-3–

I wonder how differently I would view trials, temptations, frustrations in my life if I expected them–if I looked at them as an opportunity to build my faith. Just as a challenging physical workout builds physical strength, a challenge to my faith builds stronger faith.

John Newton, writer of Amazing Grace, wrote these words to his 13-year old daughter: “If I could teach you a lesson, which, as yet, I have but poorly learned myself—I would teach you a way to be never be disappointed. This would be the case—if you could always form a right judgment of this world, and all things in it.

“If you go to a bramble-bush to look for grapes—you must be disappointed; but then you are old enough to know that grapes never grow upon brambles. So, if you expect much pleasure here in this world—you will not find it. But you ought not to say you are disappointed, because the Scripture plainly warned you beforehand, to look for crosses, trials and hindrances, every day. If you expect such things—you will not be disappointed when they happen!”

I should not think it strange to meet trials or temptations. When I come across a frustration, a glitch in my day, I must rejoice. Learning to rejoice in small frustrations will build my patience and my faith. Today I will rejoice instead of being frustrated. I will give thanks instead of complaining. I will look for “crosses, trials and hindrances” that work patience.

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