I was challenged this week to read the book of James. I have to admit, it’s been a while since I’ve read the entire book. I have visited a verse or two but have not really stayed in the nitty-gritty of this instructive book.
I opened my Bible and was sucked in right away; yup, within the first few verses, James a slave of God and the Lord Jesus Christ caught my attention. There is something about him reminding me that I should consider it a great joy when I go through various trials. But I ask myself why? Why do I have to be happy that I can’t meet my bills? Why do I have to consider it a joy that I have a kidney disease? Why do I have to consider it joy when I have precious friends hurting? I continued to reading and God reminded me that the testing of our faith produces endurance. Do you agree with that? Can your faith grow without being tested?
I gave that some serious thought over the weekend. Knowing my type of personality, if I were to strum along in life, playing my own tune, a happy-skipping-melody, not a worry in my body, I would not do anything but thank God for the “feeling.” I know there is so much more to our walk with God than being thankful for the warm fuzzy feelings that we have. God’s Word tells us that we will have suffering, pain and sorrow. We can’t always be in the joy of life. It’s what we do with the hopelessness of life that really matters. This is simple terminolog folks. Hopelessness is rooted in Hope. I know we’ve heard that over and over again but it’s my job as a follower of Jesus Christ to remind the unhappy that there is Hope in Jesus Christ.
But how Beth, you may ask. How can we remember to endure with hope? Keep your FOCUS on the Master Planner. Go back either to your prayer lists, journals or places in your Bible where God delivered you from something…that’s endurance…Remind yourself of how He has pulled you out of darkness, out of some slippery–slop…that’s endurance…I am about to embark on something that God has called me to for many years. I’m scared, I’m worried and doing a lot of “what-if.” I have to be obedient though…I have to keep my FOCUS on Him and endure all that will hit me along the way.
James! Thanks for allowing me to read your eloquent words inspired by God. Thank you that I can be reminded through your trials, your sorrow and your own slippery–slop that I can also be a slave to our Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you to my very special friend that encouraged me to dig into this book.