How to Keep a Lemonade Perspective on the Lemons in Your Life.

1. Expectations must be adjusted.

James 1:2
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials.

Myth:  If you pray, serve and give enough then you will be immune from suffering.

Reality:  God is not trying to turn his people into pessimist, or optimists.  He wants us to be realists.

Example:  A quiet time won’t make our day better, it will empower us to handle our day.

Stockdale Paradox:  You must retain faith that you will prevail in the end, regardless of the difficulties.  - AND at the same time - You must confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.

Admiral Stockdale said, “I refused to give into the seduction of optimism.”

2. Process Must be Understood

James 1:3
Knowing that the testing of your faith PRODUCES patience.

It is your beliefs that determine your behavior.

Knowing that the testing of your faith PRODUCES, gives us the facts to know that our trials aren’t pointless.

The trial isn’t about what is going on around you, but what God is producing in you.

TEST – the word used in James is derived from the precious metal industry.  It describes the process of proving precious metal, under heat, to determine the level of impurities.  Testing is proving, so it can be improved and finally approved.

Enduring tests proves your faith, giving you the confidence to face any test with the knowledge that your faith has been proved, improved and approved.

3. Perseverance Must be Prized

James 1:3
Knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.

Patience (Longsuffering):  The ability to endure, to suffer long.  The first fruit that God wants us to produce.

It is the connection point between what is going on around you and what God wants to do in you.

Because of patience, the storms of life will make us Better not Bitter.

2 Cor 4:17
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
Light and momentary is in comparison to eternal glory.  Paul is not downplaying the hurt or difficulty that may come in testing, but looking ahead to the benefit of endurance.

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