James 1:2, 3 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
One of my favorite characters in C. S. Lewis’ Narnia Tales is Reepicheep, the talking mouse. He is gallant, fearless and a warrior. If a mouse could be a knight, then Reepicheep would be one. Nothing was too challenging. No obstacle too great. When daunting circumstances were before him, he always considered it a great adventure. He loved Aslan, the great lion and would fight anyone in Aslan’s behalf.
The thing that I have appreciated most about Reepicheep is the fact that no challenge was too great. Nothing intimidated him. No matter how difficult or frightening a situation was, he considered it an adventure. The greater the risk – the greater the adventure. I have followed his example and consider life’s challenges to be adventures.
The point is not to make light of serious challenges, but to view them from a perspective of overcoming faith. When the Lord allows challenging things to come into our lives, it is redemptive to step forward into the adventure rather than step back in fear. This doesn’t apply just to big things, but to little things in our everyday lives.
Suppose you have an opportunity to share your faith with someone. One response is to hold back out of fear and uncertainty. The other is to view it as an adventure and to move forward; committing the results to the Lord. This dynamic occurs repeatedly in our jobs, ministry opportunities, relationships, so very many areas of our lives. Do we move forward and seize the opportunity or hold back?
Several years ago, I read one of the most moving quotes I have ever seen. It is by Teddy Roosevelt and never fails to stir me:
“It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena… who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.“
“Citizenship in a Republic,”
Speech at the Sorbonne,Paris,April 23, 1910
May our focus be upon the joy we have in Jesus Christ – no matter what manner of trials we face, remembering the opportunity they give us. Our lives are about Him!