Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Daily Encouragement (08/26/14) "Passing The Test"

Daily Encouragement Net
A daily, Bible-based message of hope and encouragement. Having trouble reading this message? 
Read mobile edition online
Daily Encouragement Net Header
The on line Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Home   About Us  Archives   Free email subscription   ListenListen to these messages
Contact Us
  Print Text only for printing
  Bookmark and Share  

Make A Donation
 See here for more info.

<Previous Message       ·       Archive edition

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

James 1:2-4, Sylvan Lake, SD (Photo by Chris Lehman)
Sylvan Lake in South Dakota
Photo taken by our friend Chris Lehman

"Passing The Test"

ListenListen to us read this message on your audio player.

"Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing" (James 1:2-4).

In early 2005 I conducted the marriage ceremony for Mike and JoAnna Gardner. JoAnna had grown up in our church and met Mike in college. It's been a blessing to see them grow as a family these last nine years, both in the sense of adding children but also spiritually.

Mike is a stonemason (installing bricks, stone, and concrete work). Several years ago he had an opportunity to teach a course at Stevens College, filling in for a teacher. It provided the possibility of an open door for permanent employment as a teacher so, of course, Mike and JoAnna were both very excited about this opportunity and we recall joining them in praying about it along with many other church folks.  But alas the door did not open. They were very disappointed of course but stayed steady and carried on living life responsibly and trusting God as Mike went back to his former construction job. The word, "wait" seemed to speak peace to JoAnna's heart.

I encouraged Mike at that time and commended him for passing a test which so many fail; properly handling life's disappointments. Too many respond to life's disappointments by turning to the bottle, drugs, immorality or other forms of destructive sins. We have seen that happen time after time over our years in ministry.

Since we provided premarital counseling to Mike and JoAnna this topic of inevitable disappointments came into discussion. There are times when plans just don't work out the way we would hope and there are other times when delays seem as grim as a door shut in our face. But I bring you back to our story about Mike and JoAnna and the message she heard from God, "Wait!" Their waiting paid off and last month the door again opened for Mike. He is now an instructor at Stevens College in Lancaster!

Our daily Scripture provides a familiar but much needed perspective on life and trials: "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."

In my life I first recall learning the concept in this verse from Merlin Caruthers who wrote a book titled "Power In Praise" which highlights this verse. His focus was praising God in all situations, good or bad.

Today some of our readers find themselves in the midst of a testing period and others are going through an extended trial.  The Greek word for "trial" that James uses is very interesting. "Peirasmos" conveys a "putting to proof" or by implication, "adversity". These times of testing are difficult but necessary in proving our faith in God to be genuine and effective. James tells us to "consider it all joy" when you encounter trials (take note of the plural in the word, "trial").

You might ask yourself, "What was in the water he was drinking?" But in fact there is a reason to be joyful during the testing since it's common to all who call themselves a Christian. It provides an opportunity for you to prove your faith to be genuine and it also provides an opportunity for others (Christian and non-Christian) to witness the way you deal with your difficulties.

Bible teacher Warren Wiersbe writes, "Our values determine our evaluations. If we value comfort more than character, then trials will upset us. If we value the material and physical more than the spiritual, we will not be able to ‘count it all joy!’ If we live only for the present and forget about the future, the trials will make us bitter, not better."

Just as the rings on a tree prove its endurance in the years of ease and years of difficulty, our enduring faith proves our walk with God to be genuine and mature, not lacking in godly character.  We faithfully serve Him during times of ease and during times of trial.

When we were young a song popular at the time conveyed an interesting perspective concerning trials. In fact it was the first song I heard Brooksyne sing as a pianist and soloist.  Its text was applicable to our lives in Bible College as very young believers in the faith.  And now some 40 years later we can see and understand more fully the wisdom in the text and how it relates to our daily lives:

Thank You, Lord, for the trials that come my way.
In that way, I can grow each day as I let You lead.
And I thank You, Lord, for the patience those trials bring.
In that process of growing I can learn to care.

But it goes against the way I am to put my human nature down
And let the Spirit take control of all I do.
For when those trials come, my human nature shouts the thing to do
And God's soft prompting can be easily ignored.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer:
Father, we pray that You will help us to grow in Your grace and knowledge, that we will continue to mature in our Christian walk. Scripture, repeatedly, indicates that spiritual maturity is a result of enduring trials of various kinds. In the midst of these trials Your soft prompting or guidance through Scripture, through other believers, and through the circumstances we face can easily be ignored when self gets in the way. Today we make every effort to add to our faith those characteristics that will sustain and grow us in our Christian walk. In so doing we will be effective and productive in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, during times of ease but even more so during times of difficulty. Keep us faithful and keep us growing, in the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

In 2 Peter 1:5-8 believers are challenged to, "Make every effort to add to our faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love." We might refer to these qualities as the "tree rings" of spiritual maturity.  Peter further indicates that if we "possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep us from being ineffective and unproductive in our knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 1:8).

Another great Scripture verse concerning today's topic is 1 Peter 4:19, "So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good." Although this is in the context of suffering in persecution the principle I see is the phrase, "
commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good" which applies to life's disappointments.

For further study in James 1:2

Gardner family 8/20/14
Mike and JoAnna with their growing children 8/20/14
Stephen teases the children about stinkbugs (since we have plenty in our area). This has earned him the nickname "Stinkbug"!

Mike porch extension 8/23/14
Mike helped us with a small home improvement project last week of extending our front porch out several feet. Prior to this project it had been too narrow to practically and comfortably use for sitting. But Mollie was a bit confused since she thought Mike had come to play. She just wouldn't leave him alone expecting him to toss the Frisbee over and over! 

Porch extension 8/25/14
The almost finished project. We need one more deck board, will paint the face boards gray and then place some lattice over the openings. Now we can rock to our heart's content without fearing that we might just rock ourselves right into the flower bed. Just about every evening we have a fabulous sunset that we enjoy watching.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Praise The Lord" 2013 version Video  1979 version  Video  Imperials

"Thank You Lord, For Your Blessings On Me"  Video  Gordon Mote & Jason Crabb

"God Will Make a Way"  Video  Don Moen

Contact Us
Send a message to Stephen & Brooksyne

Stephen and Brooksyne Weber 38th anniversary photo (click on photo to enlarge)Stephen and Brooksyne Weber
(Click on photo to enlarge)

About Us

"We want to encourage you daily in your walk with Christ!"

Personal Ministry Update  (Revised 10/21/13)

Make a donation to Dailly Encouragement MinistriesAre our daily encouragement messages a blessing to you? Each weekday morning Brooksyne and I prepare these messages andDonate online distribute them at no cost to you and many others all over the world. We ask you to consider an offering to Daily Encouragement Net so that we can continue to prepare and provide this daily resource which is accessed by believers and seekers all over the world. Daily Encouragement Net relies solely on the generosity and financial support of its readers and podcast listeners. See here for more information on supporting this ministry. Gifts are tax deductible. Click here to donate online.

2014 YTD offerings to Daily Encouragement Net: $8,862.00


Free email subscriptionIf this email was forwarded to you, you can subscribe here.
These messages are never sent by us unsolicited. It was sent to you because you either signed up to receive it OR it was forwarded to you. You can also subscribe to the Wordpress rss feed or as an email subscription through Wordpress email subscription.
(See the email subscription on the right side after opening this page.) Cancel: These messages are only sent from us to people who request it; please accept our apologies if it reached you in error. You can unsubscribe from this list at any time. If you no longer desire to receive these messages you can remove your address from the list by merely using the link automatically inserted by the mailing list software at the very bottom of each email message. (To change addresses cancel your old address and then join again using your new address.)

Weekly Version:
The weekly version is intended for those who may not check their email regularly or who may desire less frequent mailings. It is Friday's message with a link to previous messages. To receive the free weekly version, send a blank email to this address.

Daily Encouragement on Facebook and Twitter:

Daily Encouragement on Facebook
The daily message and prayer on Facebook.
Daily Encouragement on Twitter
 The daily message and prayer on Twitter.

Reader Survey:
 Please take a few minutes to assist us in improving our ministry effectiveness by filling out this online reader survey. To take the survey click here. Your answers are anonymous and I we are unable to respond. If you want to send a personal message use the

Please feel free to pass these messages on!

Our other blogs:
"A Daily Prayer" - A blog simply posting the daily prayer. We keep this up each day since it's merely the prayer from the Daily Encouragement Net message!
"A Little Foolishness" - Humor/satire blog (a great outlet for non-serious writing but at times with a subtle message!) (Note: This material is satire!)
"Clear Minded" - Longer, periodic articles on specific issues impacting the faithful believer and church. (Actually this is my intent but I haven't done much with it!)
"Hymns of Hope" - Brooksyne along with two friends made a CD using classic hymns. Brooksyne tells the background story of the 11 hymns. All of these songs are also available for download on the site.

Personal Mission Statement "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

Four Spiritual Laws

How to become a child of God

Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Other versions are also occasionally used.

© Copyright 2014 Stephen C. Weber - All Rights Reserved

Daily Encouragement Net
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

495 Kraybill Church Road - Mount Joy, PA 17552

Contact Us

Chaplaincy logo
Endorsed chaplain
"Living securely today anchored in God's solid foundation"


Daily Encouragement is issued Monday-Friday.  To make sure you continue to receive these e-mails in your Inbox (so they're not sent to a junk folder), please add scweber@dailyencouragement.net to your address book or safe sender list. You are receiving these recurring messages as a subscriber to Daily Encouragement Net because you signed up on our website or otherwise requested it unless someone forwarded the message to you. If you desire to unsubscribe use the link below.  However, please do not use this link unless your address is the subscribed address below as you will otherwise unsubscribe the person who forwarded it to you!

You are currently subscribed to dailyencouragement as: stephencweber.dailyencouragement@blogger.com
Add scweber@dailyencouragement.net to your email address book to ensure delivery.
Forward to a Friend  |  Manage Subscription  |  Subscribe  |  Unsubscribe | Snooze
Net Atlantic