It’s now clear that COVID-19 is a deadly serious global pandemic and all necessary precautions should be taken. So as Christians, how are we to deal with this trial in all of our lives? James speaks on this very subject to those early believers. Those early believers mentioned in James1:1 were “scattered” because of trial. Worse than what the world is experiencing with Corona Virus? We know that these early believers who were in Rome were dipped in animal fat, lit on fire and hung on poles for the street night lights used in the city. Some of these early believers had wild animal skins attached to their bodies and were chased down and eaten by dogs. Still others were made sport in a stadium to be eaten by lion’s while the crowd cheered on. These early believers knew what trials were all about! James’ message to these early believers is the same for us. James 1:2 says “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds.” Joy? Joy is not exactly what we thinking about with COVID 19. People are losing jobs, retirement accounts are evaporating, and some have lost life. However, verse 3 in James explains that trials are a “testing” of our faith. The word “testing” here is from the silversmiths of that day. They would test the silver by putting it under extreme heat and turn it into a liquid form. The impurity found in the silver would surface to the top and was scooped away. The impurities were scooped away and what was left was the bright silver. So pure was the silver that the silversmith could see his reflection in the liquid silver. That’s what God is doing for us when we are under trials. You see God is not trying to make us happy during times of trials, He is trying to make us Holy like Him! The ideas here is that through testing, we rid ourselves of the things that are not of Him. James 1:3&4 tells us “because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its works so that you may mature and complete, not lacking anything. God wants to be like the silversmith looking at his reflection at the silver. God wants to look at us and see a reflection of Him!  So what can we learn from this trial we are going through? 1)God maybe using this as a reset in our lives. To purify us and and rid ourselves of things that are taking us away from Him. Those things can be hobbies, activities or careers that we have made as a god with a little “g”. 2)God maybe using this time for us as believers to help others who do not know Him. In this mass hysteria, people are looking for hope. Let them know your hope comes from a personal relationship with Jesus. People may never be so open to hear where your hope comes from than now. When people are flat on their backs, they are in a perfect spot to look to up to God. 3) Let’s not act like huddled frightened sheep constantly thinking about COVID 19. If COVID 19 is going to take our lives, let it take our lives while we are praising God, loving others, praying, teaching, working, reading, playing with our children and laughing with friends. 4) Consider it pure joy in what we are going through now. Look through the lens of eternity. Don’t get so caught up in the 70,80 or 90 years we will live on this earth. Look with an eternal perspective.

I love all of you my Church family. Put your hope in the finished work of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

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