What’s My Lens?
As I sat in my Barefoot Dreams soft chenille robe tucked snuggly around me, with cabin socks and slippers covering my toasty toes, it became instantly obvious that comfort is important to me. Did I mention I was sipping a hot coffee laced in hazelnut cream? As the cup warmed my hands, a single thought hit me, “How much time do I spend arranging my life to be as comfortable as possible?” It was a good question and a timely one as Sunday’s sermon flashed back to me.
I remember the text clearly, “Count it all joy when you face trials of various kinds …” (James 1:2) Joy? Trials? These two words don’t usually appear together — at least not in my comfort-seeking fuzzy-robe-and-slippers world. But as I learned, they do fit into a world seeking something else — progress. As Pastor Jake Barker unpacked the text in his sermon, "Trials and Temptations," he explained the two lenses through which most people see the world — “comfortable circumstances” or “continued progress.”
Depending on which worldview you embrace, trials will have a different impact. “If the lens in which you view the world is to seek comfortable circumstances then your goal will be to create a pain-free life, so trials will have no purpose, no value,” Jake explained. “But if you seek continued progress, trials will help deepen your faith. Trials will either devastate or deepen your dependence on God.”
We all have adversities. No matter how much wealth or fame we have, difficulties will arrive — it’s not “if,” it’s “when.” The question is “How will we respond?” Will we embrace and seek to grow through them or avoid them at all costs and do everything we can to reduce the pain and insulate our world?
Be comforted or be challenged — which lens will you choose?
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2-4 ESV)