James 1:3,4

Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have herperfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

Smylie Kaufman is one of the most likeable and genuine guys on the PGA Tour. In 2016, he won the Shriners Hospital Children’s Open and then played in the final group of the Masters. Last season, however, he only made the cut in three out of 22 events. In a span of three years, he went from being destined for stardom to not being able to consistently break 75. He was beset with injuries while enduring this tough stretch of golf. To his credit, he dedicated himself to get healthy and find his game. Yesterday, he made the cut in the Rocket Mortgage Classic!

We all go through periods of life when we start doubting our abilities and wonder what we are doing wrong. Health difficulties, financial setbacks, episodic depression, and other “life” situations find their ways into our normal schedules. It is difficult to focus on spiritual matters when we don’t feel well or feel as if there are more important pressing matters. However, God expects and intends the totally opposite when our faith is tested. Our “toughened” faith should result in patience and a realization that God is working in our lives. He has something bigger in the works. These situations will not only make us stronger, but also give us a witness and a testimony to lift the spirits of those around us. Tour golfers have the stress of playing for their livelihood and if a bad streak last too long, he loses his privileges to play on tour. We can’t lose our salvation for “bad play”, but we can allow the spiritual joys to escape. Any time of separation from God will surely become miserable for the truly saved. Our faith is the number one target for Satan and the world. Faith is the defining characteristic of the believer. In 1 Peter 1:6, we are taught, “Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:. We then are reassured in 1 Peter 4:10, As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” “Manifold” is defined as “many and various.” Thus, the more our faith is tried, the more grace we are availed. What a gift indeed!

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