Friday, September 24, 2010

A Journey: What James Taught Me

Our small group met tonight and boy was I in need of it.

James 1:1-4
James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,
To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations:
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds,  because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

What I learned: 
God allows trials.  They strengthen my faith.  If life was always smooth sailing, would I ever 'need' God or call upon Him?    Job 2:10  ...Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?

Joy is different than happiness.  Joy is 'calm delight'.  Happiness comes from outside sources~from happenings.  It is possible to not feel happiness and still feel joy.  I do not feel happy about the trial, but I will rest in the joy of the Lord.
During trials, God is perfecting my character.  Who am I DURING the trial?  I am to stand in the trial, confident that He has already worked it out. 
God ALWAYS answers prayers.  Sometimes the answer is no.  Sometimes the answer is yes.  Sometimes the answer is yes, but not yet.  I am to pray.  Then wait.
Satan is 'fishing' while I'm in the trial to see what I will bite on.  There's a lure.  And always a hook.

The notes in my bible say:  "Instead of complaining about our struggles, we should see them as opportunities for growth.

Ever feel like God is talking directly to you?  I did tonight.  And I am thankful.


Elaine Jarvis said...

It's always such a gift when God comes along and meets us right at the point of our need and we are awake and alert enough not to miss it. Blessings on the journey God is taking you (which is within but not always equivalent to the journey life has given you). Lately one of the catch phrases I have been using to stay joyful amidst trials is "God means to use this for my GOOD."

Prayers, Elaine

Donna Lowe said...

In times where life has been challenging for me and it's been a long haul, as strange as it sounds, when that trial comes to an end I've found myself a little bit sad. Not because the difficulty has ended, of course, but because I have had such a great sense of God's presence in my trials. I treasure that closeness more now, than I savor the easy times in life.

Bless you friend.