Happy Trials (not trails)
When I think about this generation of young people (Gen Z) I am very optimistic about their futures. I believe they have a personally brighter outlook for their future than I did at their age. I never had to go through what they have gone through this year. I never had to learn persistence or adaptability through trials as they have. One of my favorite books in the Bible is the book of James. James chapter 1 talks about trials and wisdom and doing the Word.
You say, how can you be optimistic about this generation's future when they are having such a rough time now. James 1:2-4 says 2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. That word steadfastness can also read persistence, dedication, resoluteness, or commitment. We are to let that steadfastness have its full effect. Let’s help our kids through this while not taking away the many great lessons they will learn.
The challenges related to COVID that our kids have faced over these last eleven months have been significant. These challenges are like physical exercises aimed at the body's core. Their character, perseverance, and adaptability have been tried. For many, their emotional strength has been strained. Their faith has been tested. Their patience, tolerance, and flexibility have been stretched to new limits.
So how do we take the events of the last eleven months and help make them positive for our kids? I believe this chapter in James has an answer. In verses 5-6 it says 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. The answers are not within us but come from God. So let's turn to Him and point our kids to Him for guidance in both prayer and Scripture reading.
As we make this journey with our kids let’s do it in a godly manner. Let’s get into the Scripture and let it guide the path for us and our kids. James gives some advice on this in verses 19-25 19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. 21 Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will beblessed in his doing.
Our kids have a bright future ahead of them if they are steadfast in asking God for wisdom and if they are doers of the word actively living out their faith.