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Rewire Your Response To Resistance
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. James 1:2-3
Everyone has a natural response to a test or a trial. You may have learned a certain way you respond as a kid, or developed your own response as you grew older and took more responsibility to your life. Sometimes, we can see a specific test or trial for what it is. Sometimes though, it is more elusive than that. It isn’t just a specific test. Sometimes, it is the fogginess that accompanies many aspects of your life – like a murkiness or a cloudy mind covering a higher perspective. Sometimes, the trial you face doesn’t resonate as clearly as a linebacker clotheslining a quarterback. If it was that clear, you could shake it off and move on the next play. Your enemy can strike in many different ways, and sometimes that is a slow seeping from the outside in that leaves your hope misty, your love vague, your faith dim, and your vision blurred.
What do you do in these moments? James, the brother of Jesus, must have been familiar with pressure. The bright light of Jesus perfect life may have cast a long shadow for James to walk in. Especially when James was reminded of His own humanity, and the challenge of resting and trusting in His older brother’s love for His salvation. James felt the struggle. James knew the resistance better than most.
James’ advice is simple and practical. Embrace the resistance. He says to consider the resistance you face pure joy. Is it possible to think of James saying these words without a smile on his face? You know James was smiling. Because the resistance is building a strength in you that allows you to persevere. The testing of your faith produces perseverance. So yes. Sometimes it is hard to press forward. Sometimes it is difficult to lift your own head up let alone someone else. James gives us an invitation. Rewire your response to the resistance. What does this rewiring require? Reflection.
Slow down. Pause. Consider. Take a breath and remind yourself that God is with you, and that God is for you. Rewire your response to the resistance by welcoming it as a friend. Pain is your friend because it is making you stronger, and you are growing in perseverance every step that you move forward. Your enemy would whisper that the battle is lost if you haven’t conquered it yet, but James reminds us that a victorious faith is not achieved through one glorious moment, but in the consistent pressing forward into the joy set before you. How do you rewire your response to resistance? Consider it pure joy.