Somehow the blog for the first verses of James didn’t get posted. So I’m posting that one in addition to today’s on vss. 13-16.
Jms 1:1-4 “James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the 12 tribes in the Dispersion: Greetings. Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness (patience). And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
Wait. What? Trials are reason for joy? Does it really require trials, difficulties for me to become a patient, dependable, faithful follower of Jesus? Does it really require training for one to become a strong athlete? And does that training involve pain? Those whose lives are lived on a bed of rose petals (who are those people?) never develop any character at all. They have no opportunity to develop perseverance. Of course I think I would prefer to select the kind and intensity of trial I will face, but I don’t get to do that. What I do get is the privilege of trusting the decisions of the God who made me, loves me, died to redeem and make me his own. He knows what it will take to make me the follower he wants me to be. I want to be that follower!
COUNT It joy when you face testing
KNOW That God is producing patience
LET God do His work in you unchallenged
ASK For wisdom so you don’t waste opportunities
DESIRE Greater things than what you settle for
BELIEVE The truth God declares about you (Thanks, Joy Richter Woodman)