James 1:2-4 Message Bible “Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.” Wow I keep having this come to me, and honestly I need this, and I know so many others need this also. Have you ever been in a place that seems there is no way out? Have you been tossing and turning all night, doing your best to stay at peace, but yet still no sleep? Have you felt like nothing is moving and you will always be stuck where you are and never move forward? If you have answered yes to any of these questions, can I tell you according to the Bible, you are in good company! Consider Moses, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Adednego. Or consider Paul what he endured for the sake of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Often the most trying times are the most beneficial to our Christian growth. Now mind you I don’t believe God sends bad things to His kids to fix them up, not my Lover of My Soul! But I am saying, if it’s good it’s God and if it’s bad, it’s the devil! It is in the hard times that the glory is formed in us, it is not the mountain tops that form us, but the valleys. You really find out what is in you when you are squeezed! If we are going to be reconstructed anew it will be in the hard times, it will be at the times everything feels at loss, dried up, not moving, those times you ask yourself is this all worth it. When you think there is no hope, this is when the bringer of HOPE, Jesus Christ comes to your aid. You are in a good place when you do not know what to do; look to God for the answer. It is when you are tried by fire that God purges you, takes the dross away, and brings you out like pure gold. I hate to say it again my friends, but COUNT IT ALL JOY!