Hupomone

I’m glad Martin Luther didn’t achieve one of his goals when deciding which books to rip out of the Bible. We know the five famous ones he removed, but there were more he would have liked to see go–one of them being the book of James. And, this is where I found the Lord’s counsel to me this week for  ‘standing the test’ which seems to be the word of the hour.

Is there anything in our current culture that’s not in crisis on a worldwide scale? Family, church, government?

I realized this week as I look at the scope and scale of these challenges especially in light of the new fast track annulment process, and the upcoming synod, that I’m beginning to do something– which if I’m not careful–will limit God in my life. It will tempt me with that favorite forbidden fruit in the enemy’s cart of contempt: can you really trust God, is He really in control?

I can give you the catechism references, the church’s teaching and some Bible passages, but that’s not what’s in question. What needs to be answered is do I believe He’s in control? Let me give you the verses out of James that struck me like a two edged sword as they came across the radio on my drive to the nursing home this week.

James the servant of Christ says,

Count it all joy when you meet various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.

 

And let steadfastness have it’s full effect,

 

that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

James 1: 2-3

 

By now we all hopefully know the drill..that joy in trials isn’t to be confused with happiness as the world terms it, but is rather a deep abiding faith that knows God is good, that He is in control divinely appointing the trials we endure for His purposes. These are the circumstances allowed by God so that we may one day be perfected in Him; they chasten us as they help us die to ourselves, smoothing out the rough edges of our humanity which sometimes insists is fine without any help….thanks anyway, Lord.

It is after all part of our sinful nature to avoid pain like the plague…maybe even to lash out, bail, complain, ANYTHING but have an eternal perspective on these present sufferings and more specifically to trust that God is inherently, always and forever,

Good

And

In control.

As I listened, the cut of the sword wasn’t about saying “oh thank you Lord for this great fun” while we watch our families, church and culture appear as if they’re living out the godlessness of the last days. No, it was about the translation of a Greek word I remembered a pastor teach on from my Protestant days: hupomone.

Looking back to the verse and the word “steadfastness” he said,

Most translations do a poor job of accurately expressing the true meaning of the word in this passage. Descriptions vary from “steadfastness” to “patience” or “endurance”, but none of those words do enough to express the true intention of this word.

A more accurate translation of the word, he said, is to

“remain under the pressure”

for it’s in the ‘remaining’ where all the changes to our ‘rough edges’ take place. It’s the pressure that causes the growth within us when we have the faith to trust that though we don’t understand…God does.

And we can trust Him always and forever.

The second dimension of the struggle isn’t easy for me, but it’s necessary if I’m to be real with myself.  I must stop making an idol of these terrible sufferings we see and experience as if they’re bigger than God, stop wanting to wiggle free of the the trials and instead “remain under the pressure” trusting that God will lift it in His good time so that in the end,

We may be perfect and complete…lacking nothing.

 

+PAX

 

2 Comments

  1. Patricia
    Sep 10, 2015

    Caroline, how I have missed you! I have had problems accessing your blog for months…both on my laptop and iPad. The last few times I tried, I got a message that the page couldn’t be opened…and I assumed you had closed your blog. I thought I would try again tonight, and thank God, here you are!

    I am walking with you in this earthly Purgatory. I cannot believe the depths to which our world is descending. Most troubling to me are the contadictory voices I hear in the Church, and her enemies just waiting for her to be brought down and turn from the truth she has always taught.

    Of course, we know Who is in charge, and that He is worthy of our trust. The Church is in the Cross now, and may have to seem to die before He raises it to new glory.

    We have to talk! Do you still have the same e-mail address? I want to send you some pictures of our angel. I think about you so often, and wonder how you are doing. So happy you are still here! Will be back often now…hope no more technical problems.

    God bless you, Caroline. You are a courageous voice, and I am so grateful for you. Love and many hugs, Patricia ❤️

    • Caroline
      Sep 11, 2015

      Patricia, I am so sorry to hear you had problems with the blog..it always seems to be some weird thing or other on my site, although I haven’t heard if anyone else experienced the same thing! I still go back and forth with closing the blog, but somehow I’m still here. :-)

      These really are most troubling times, especially as you say because of the contradictory voices coming from inside the Church…Could any of us have even imagined this when we all started blogging several years ago? I’ve had to remind myself–or I should say the Lord had to remind me– that He’s in control as I’ve really been struggling with it all.

      I’d love to get an e-mail from you and hear all about your beautiful granddaughter. Yes, it’s the same (barring some weird glitch) LOL

      I have missed you as well. Love and Blessings +

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