Posted December 19th
I (Ryan) kicked off a new teaching series in the HS Ministry this weekend- "THE ESSENTIAL JAMES". We'll be walking through the Book of James for the next several weeks.
James begins his letter to the church by telling his brothers and sisters in Christ that they should consider it "pure joy" when they face trials. I'm sure I'm not the only person who thinks this is incredibly difficult.
I asked a question that went something like this...
"If God came into your room tonight and gave you these two options for how the next 5 years would go for you, which one would you choose?"
God: "I have two options for you:
The first is that you can spend the next 5 years of your life with no troubles whatsoever. You won't face any trials, you won't get sick, you won't get hurt, you won't feel lonely at school... none of that. You'll actually become very popular at school, you'll make that team, you'll ace your tests and you'll have a lot of fun. The downside is that you and I won't grow any closer together. You'll get everything you want, except me.
The second is that these next 5 years of your life will probably be very rough at time. You'll likely face several trials, you'll probably get sick, you'll definitely get hurt, and you will most likely face persecution from your friends for sticking with me. You might lose some of those friends, if not all of them. You'll have some great times too, but this option includes the potential for some serious trials coming your way. It will be rough, but I'll be with you, and you'll grow to love me even more through it all. When it's all over, you'll look a lot more like my son Jesus."
Which option would you choose?