James Washington

James A. Washington

Sometimes we fall into a belief as Christians, that our faith will require suffering as an integral part of God’s plan to ready us for the challenge of publicly and boldly spreading the good news of Jesus Christ. Suffering in some ways can be seen as a prerequisite for strengthening one’s spiritual muscle. We all know how hard it is to respect the opinion of someone who has led the so-called charmed life, or someone who was born with the proverbial silver spoon in a cavity free mouth.

It’s hard, if not impossible, to listen to someone talk with alleged authority about things they’ve never seen or places they’ve never been, or temptations they know nothing about. My belief is that God teaches in a manner few of us will ever truly understand. I honestly believe that when He chooses you, when it’s your time, He has a unique way of communicating who’s really in charge. And for the record it ain’t us. That’s right! When God is talking to specifically to you or me, I sincerely think you know it.  “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11. 

We are all in training to fight in God’s war as far as I’m concerned. Whether being forged in a fiery furnace or stuck in a tailspin of perceived despair and hopelessness, each one of us is being battle tested in anticipation that one day, we will be called to arms. This struggle, these experiences, they bring about wisdom; a spiritual wisdom that forms a spiritual perspective; one that I believe must be shared. It must be. Otherwise, God keeps you in a perpetual classroom where life constantly gives you a new place to go to the bathroom. You haven’t learned anything, so life keeps kicking your…well, you get the picture. When you finally realize the one trying to tell you something is God, then a wondrous thing begins to happen. You listen more intently and learn more eagerly. Like the child who discovers walking leads to the joy of running, or the baby who discovers his or her own hand, the possibilities seem endless. The mind says, ‘tell me more.’ The spirit says, ‘thank you Jesus.’ 

At that very moment, God lets us know we’re able to withstand, overcome, rise above and win the battle of carrying the message of salvation because Christ is savior. At that moment also, we move from being in the classroom to being on the battlefield where Satan intently keeps score. You remember those days back in school when you studied and were prepared for the test? Confidence oozed from you.

When God has been the lesson planner, the study partner, the instructor, it doesn’t matter how much Satan wants it to be a “crash and burn got another one” night. “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.” James 1:12. Our job then is to recognize and represent; recognize the hell we’re going through is not without purpose. Then and only then can we properly represent. We know the most important message of the day is to understand who (Jesus) has suffered the most and why. “It is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom.” Luke 12:32. 

May God bless and keep you always.  

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