Week Four – Day 3.
Read James 1:1 – 7, SOAP v. 6,7
1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion: Greetings. 2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;
O – James’ message to the believers gives instructions for WHEN they would meet trials – not IF! Trials are a given in our lives. The reason? To produce steadfastness, steadiness, endurance. Why? It makes us spiritually mature (perfect and completely developed in our faith) and lacking nothing (what we need to live a victorious Christian life).
TRIALS →TESTING→STEADFASTNESS→SPIRITUAL MATURITY
In that process of developing spiritual maturity, James also instructs us that when we lack wisdom, we should ask God for it (Think…. Solomon). God WANTS us to ask for it – He dispenses it liberally, without rebuking or blaming us for asking. (it isn’t a problem to ask, maybe it is HOW we ask…) But, when we ask, we have to FULLY BELIEVE that He will answer us – and give us wisdom. It we doubt, we are wavering and blown about, just like the waves of the sea, and we will not have the faith to receive what we ask for!
A – What is my takeaway from today? First, it is not a question of IF, but WHEN I will meet trials! Being a Christian does not exclude me from trials or difficult times! They are not a “punishment”, nor a consequence for weak faith. They are a part of life! Trials in my life are designed to bring me to maturity in Him! I remember that it is in those times of difficulty that I grew the most, depended on God the most, and saw His hand at work within me. (especially when my husband left me, when my dad died in an accident, and when I was unemployed) I know that I clung to Him, and received my strength from Him during those times, in an almost supernatural way. And – looking back, those times (even the desert times) were times of tremendous growth!
Secondly, when I need wisdom, I need to ask for it! It is NOT weak to ask God for wisdom. Solomon asked for it, knowing that he needed it to be a king that God would be pleased with. But, I need to ask, fully believing that God will answer my request. I don’t have the wisdom that I need within myself, on my own power. It is those times that I tried to “do it myself” that I failed, miserably. Knowing that God desires me to ask Him for wisdom makes it easier to do so. The fact that He will NOT rebuke or blame me for asking is assuring!
P – Father God, thank You for Your words today. Knowing that You prepare me for difficult times, and help me to grow through them is comforting. I see Your hand on my life in times past, and see how You worked within me to give me the strength and wisdom to get through them. I give You access and permission to continue Your work – through any of those times that come in the future. Father, You have a plan for me, and I want You to work it out through me. I pray for the wisdom that I need in developing relationships here in Indy, and for wisdom in how to use the time that You give me. Help me to use it wisely, and to encourage others. Give me insight into those I meet, and love for the people around me – whether they be in the neighborhood, at church, or in the daily occurrences in life. Thank You for Your wisdom – and Your working in my heart to prepare me for ministering for Your glory. Amen.
Blessed Assurance – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOv7RmXi7VE