week 4

sometimes we face periods of immense trial. we feel alone and deserted and have trouble seeing God’s blessings in our lives. we may become so discouraged that we are tempted to leave behind the dream God has planted in our hearts, but times of trial can be seasons of preparation. james 1:2-4 says, “consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking in anything.” i love the word perseverance. it goes far beyond endurance. it’s moving forward. it’s purposeful.

wilkerson brings up two points in the dream giver that make me a little nervous. he says big challenges make leaders dynamic. i agree. i don’t think you have to have had the worst trials ever in order to be the most dynamic leader, but i think challenges can be opportunities to glorify God later (or even at that moment). this concept is comforting while in the midst of trials, at least for me. but it’s a little intimidating for me when everything is hunky dory. it’s like, uh oh… if i want to be a great leader, what will i have to face next? yikes! the other point is that we are most likely to be tested in the areas of faith we struggle with the most. i’ve seen evidence of this in my life for sure. when i hesitate to do what i feel God is calling me to do, it’s frequently because i fear what others will think of me. this is the area i’ve been tested in the most lately, even now. it’s frustrating to have to face the same hurdle over and over again. i’m constantly asking why. but each time i persevere i can feel God’s strength welling up inside me and the confidence and wisdom and resolve that come with that.

so in the midst of trials, i really can be full of joy. the future is bright.

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