CONSIDER IT ALL… WHAT!?
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. James 1:2-3
As I walked through baggage claim one last time, hoping I would see the bag against a wall somewhere, I said, "God, I thank you that my bag is gone. I thank you that it contained my computer AND ALL MY NOTES [I needed to make sure the Lord knew that]. You told me to consider it all joy, and by faith, I choose to do that. Use this for good somehow. Please convict the person who took my bag and have them return it to me. In Jesus' name. Amen."
I went back to the hotel facing an immense amount of work as I would have to recreate a weekend's worth of talks. Whenever I started to get angry or overwhelmed with the situation, I chose to keep thanking God for this trial. We called some friends and asked them to pray for the bag to be returned.
At dinner, Debbie said to me, "Jeff, I am so proud of the way you are handling this. If I had lost all my notes, I would have to be on medication." Within a few moments of that humorous comment, her cell phone rang. It was a strange area code. The lady on the other end of the line asked for Jeff Schreve. Lo and behold, she had my bag! Debbie and I were ecstatic. She was so sorry for accidentally taking it - somehow it got mixed up with their bags - and drove it over to my hotel within the hour.
Tears came to my eyes as I thought how good the Lord is to answer prayer and how faithfully He works when we praise Him and thank Him, regardless of the bleak circumstances.
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
Are you facing some great trials today? Has an unimagined and unplanned catastrophe struck your life? Do you wonder what to do?
Don't get angry and let the devil use this trial to steal your peace and joy. Make the choice to rejoice and thank God. Consider this a test to help you get stronger in your faith. The worst of situations is the best of times for God to work a powerful miracle. Keep praying and keep praising, it makes all the difference in the world.
Jeff Schreve is Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Texarkana, Texas. He and his wife Debbie have been married for over 20 years and are blessed with three wonderful girls. Jeff began From His Heart Ministries, a radio and television ministry, in January of 2005. This ministry is completely listener/viewer supported. It continues only through the faithful and generous gifts of people like you. Pastor Jeff takes no salary from this ministry. All gifts go to further the broadcast.