“This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger;” (James 1:19 NASB)
First, I am not a judge of suffering, I cannot feel the suffering of your spirit or body, but I have known my own suffering. I know that suffering comes from sin, the consequences of our own behavior, or the deeds of another. We all suffer to one degree or another, and suffering’s intensity varies from time to time. What gets me angry is witnessing those who are warm, dry and fed complaining about their new restrictions and changes in life requiring adaptation. So many of my readers are suffering and persevering under the shadow of death. They are told to “bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.” (Romans 12:14)
Next, or maybe first, I am old enough to think my brain may be shrinking and effecting my personality. I loose my patience and mercy quicker than ever before. Or maybe it’s the times we are living. Bombarded with truth and lies waring against each other, my filter gets overworked, and I become irritable. This old man is looking forward to Christ’s reign! In the mean time, in the midst of our circumstances, let us take these words to heart.
“Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. (James 1:12) If you are leaning toward self-pity, that will rob you of your joy, think about this boy planting rice and what his life is like, or remember Smyrna. Some of these saints were told how they would suffer .
“And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write:
The first and the last, who was dead, and has come to life, says this:
‘I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich), and the blasphemy by those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death.'” (Revelation 2:8-11 NASB)