Developing the negatives
Remember the good old days when cameras used film? Alright, maybe it was not all that long ago, and maybe the film days were not all that good either, but the use of film has become pretty much a thing of the past. In hindsight, the precautions to protect the film from light, the cost and time for processing it and the need to reload and wind the camera was a lot to go through compared to today's photography experience.
Remember when your pictures finally arrived, there was a packet inside the envelope that contained strips of your original film called "negatives?" These were provided in case you wanted additional copies of the photos. Why were they called negatives. What was so bad about them? If they were negatives, did that make the photos they produced positives? If so, can positives really be developed out of negatives?
James the Apostle felt positives could come out of negatives. In fact he instructed his readers to be happy about the negatives in their life because they could produce positive results. Trials produce patience, patience produces endurance, and endurance develops a holy character. The negatives of life, in time, create the positives of holiness.
What are the negatives in your life? It is hard to consider the things that bring difficulty into your day as a bridge to happiness. But negatives can bring about positives. You just need to surrender them to God's developing process that convert them from trials to character.
Pastor Mark Holmes is an ordained minister in the Wesleyan Church and has served the Darrow Road Wesleyan Church since 1997.