Pastors Corner

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When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemonade 
Pastor Ryan Keltner

Everyone has times in their life where they feel like a lemon in a vise. You feel life squeezing you from
every direction and it is hard to hold your composure. Recently, I started teaching a study on the
pressure points of life. Admit it, we all have pressure of some kind to deal with in our lives. It might be
with family, at work, or possibly pressure you are placing on yourself… an inner spiritual battle of sorts.

James 1: 2-4 says, “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. 4 Let perseverance finish its
work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

Look at a key word in verse 2, it says “whenever”. It doesn’t say “if” or you “might have”. It says
“whenever”. It is telling us that we are going to have trials. I think a lot of Christians ask themselves,
“Why is this happening to me?”. I’ve been reading my Bible, going to church, doing everything right.
Why is God mad at me? God’s not mad at you. God uses these trials in our life to strengthen us. As it
says in James 1, verse 4, “That you may be mature and complete.” He uses them to help us mature as
Christians. In verse 3 it says, “testing of your faith produces perseverance.” Some translations use the
word endurance instead of perseverance.

Faith is a muscle that must be exercised to gain strength. The less you use faith, the easier it is to lose it.
One of the times we need those faith muscles most is during trials. Endurance is one of God’s goals in
tests. He develops staying power in believers. Endurance means to be unswerving from God’s purposes.
We show our loyalty to Him in the trials and in the joys.

How can we “consider it pure joy,” when we are going through trials? By knowing what God will do.
Trials aren’t a test of your personal strength or wisdom, they test your faith in God to see you through.
God is with you. He is building you up and developing your staying power.
What does God want us to do when trials come our way? First, choose a joyful attitude because it could
help you feel less pressure from life. Second, share your story, let everyone else know how God got you
through your trial. Third, help someone else who is struggling, be available to listen, encourage, and
help them.
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