Today I found out it is going to cost me $2,000 to get my outboard motor for my dory fixed, it is going to cost $500 for a brake job on Patty’s car, I have a hernia that needs surgery, the arthritis that I have in my neck has been killing me lately with this rainy – cold weather we have been having, I have developed a very painful sciatic nerve problem in my left leg, and my Parkinson’s disease seems to be getting worse. The admonition in the book of James is to consider it all joy when you have various trials, the Apostle Paul said to consider it all joy and to rejoice always in the midst of hard times.
The key for me is to start by thinking about the good things in life, now and in the past, and to praise the Lord for His blessings to me. Between my family and my ministry I have experienced so many blessings, it is impossible to remember all of them, but as I start thanking the Lord for a particular ministry or event I remember some more, and then some more. It seems as I am faithful and obedient to thank the Lord and not take any good gift from Him for granted my memory improves or He brings things to my mind that I had forgotten about.
Then it seems it is so much easier to be positive and thankful for present trials and I say “thank you to the Lord for every detail of my life, the good and the bad. I can say thank you for the trials because I know that they are producing character growth in me. I remind myself that the more trials I experience and manage the better I will do at the “Judgment Seat of Christ.” This life is going to be over soon, but the next life is for all eternity.