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September 20, 2018


James 1:2-4


My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.


I can remember being a young teenager and having the opportunity to visit my grandparents one summer for a few weeks.  While there, I spent much of my time going to work with my grandfather at his job in the woods as he ran a logging company.  One day, as we were driving home, I asked him what he believed had happened to the generation following his.  It had always puzzled me that my grandfather’s generation had endured the great depression, went off to fight World War II, overcame the hardships, and helped usher in the most prosperous period of our nation’s history.  Their offspring however gave us such moral inspirations like Woodstock, self-indulgence, promiscuity, the “generation gap” (prior to this time, youth revered and honored their elders), rock and roll music (the self-proclaimed voice of rebellion), recreational use of drugs, etc. Every generation since has only become more selfish, more decadent, more entertainment driven and more disrespectful to its elders.


My grandfather’s answer to this question was certainly not what I was expecting, but I do believe it possessed some biblical truth.  He said, “my generation made a huge mistake after we overcame the hardships of the great depression and war.” He further explained by saying, “we had made up our minds that our children were not going to go through the hard times that we had endured, so bottom line is: we spoiled them.” When I pressed him further, he said, “adversity is good for kids.  Is a matter of fact, adversity is good for everbody.  Our generation accomplished what it did because we learned to overcome, to be thankful, to serve, to have resourcefulness and to pray. We raised a generation that never had to do any of that.”


Though not a particularly spiritual man, I think my grandfather also hit on what is wrong in many of our churches today… We simply have it too good.  Our text tells us that adversity strengthens our faith, and the trials our forefathers went through seem to attest to that.  In Acts chapter eight, we read that great persecution came upon the church in Jerusalem.  This did not however quench the fires of the gospel, it only spread those fires making them more intense.  “Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word” (Acts 8:4).


When the emperor Valens threatened Eusebuis with confiscation of all his goods, torture, banishment, or even death, the courageous Christian replied, 'He needs not fear confiscation, who has nothing to lose; nor banishment, to whom heaven is his country; nor torments, when his body can be destroyed at one blow; nor death, which is the only way to set him at liberty from sin and sorrow.'




Parting thought:

Those who have gone through hard times have testified that it was in those times that God was made real to them.  Don’t wish for the hardships, but when they do come, look at them as an opportunity to see God work.




Nothing can touch the Word of God. Not all the powers of earth and hell, men and devils combined, can ever move the Word of God. There it stands, in its own moral glory, in spite of all the assaults of the enemy, from age to age. 'For ever, O Lord, Thy Word is settled in heaven.'“ ~C.H. Mackintosh