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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

"Count it all joy"

What we read in a given day we may read again a few days later. It may all connect.

Sunday, I thought about grumbling.

When things upset us we grumble. Everyone of us. When along the path we go and there are no irritations there are no complaints. But watch what happens when we get irritated over what another has done or said or some event. We react. We have nothing good to say about the other. We put them down, push them out of our way, stick pins and needles in them like one of those demon dolls.

Is that how Jesus acted? No.

So why do we? Because we're human? Jesus too was human. He too was irritated at others, but he wasn't disrespectful to another at anytime.

Of what point is it to read and study God's holy word if we don't live it, obey His teachings? Conflict situations are never one-sided. It takes two to fix it or destroy it. Each person is responsible for their own behavior, then own action.

There are always trials to undergo. Some we come through and are that much better for it. Other times we have learned nothing and have become embittered and stay that way.

In the book of James we are told in 1:1 to "count it all joy when you fall into various trials." Yeah right. We see nothing joyful in any trial. Our patience is always being tested. Our bursts of anger or irritation always undo us. We do not look to God for wisdom. We look to ourselves and think we know best for any and every situation.

"If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting..." (James 1:5-6 NKJ)

"Therefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one's religion is useless." (James 1:19-24, 26)

Jesus said the second greatest commandment was "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." (Leviticus 19:18)

"but if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors. For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all." (James 2:9)

We must not judge another. We cannot see into the heart of another. We only know ourselves and all too often we are unsure of that as well. God alone sees into our hearts. God alone is our judge.

Don't allow feelings of animosity toward another to become a dangerous foothold and bring you down to a level you really don't want to be. Look up. Seek the Lord your God. Do as He instructs.

"Count it all joy when you fall into various trials."

Monday, I thought about dreams, our heart's desire.

Get involved. Do what you love. It isn't always about money. Money should not determine our desires or whether we will go after them. God gives you the desires. He doesn't say you have to get a degree to pursue it. Man has said that. To earn a living you have to accomplish this and this and that.

But God doesn't tell you that. He says Go. Are you willing to go? Are you willing to follow His will for you? If you are, then be obedient. Simply go. Simply do. Don't let the ways and rules of man prevent you from following through on His will for your life.

"If you need wisdom - if you want to know what God wants you to do - ask him, and he will gladly tell you ... But when you ask him, be sure that you really expect him to answer..." (James 1:5-6 New Living Translation)

God's presence with us is one of His greatest presents to us.

A "mere happening" may be God's design.

"For who is God, except the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God? It is God who arms me with strength, And makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of deer, And sets me on my high places." (Psalm 18:31-33)

"For You are my rock and my fortress; Therefore, for Your name's sake, Lead me and guide me." (Psalm 31:3)

Wednesday, I thought about wisdom.

In 1 King 3:7a, David's son Solomon says, "...but I am a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in."

Solomon isn't talking about his age, but of how little he knows. He asks God for wisdom, for discernment, for answers to challenges he is or will be facing.

When we ask, we must believe God will supply us with the answers. If we lack faith, if we doubt God can or will take care of, what does that say about our allegiance?

Where are we? Where have we gone? Where will we be if we do not look to God for wisdom but to our own wayward ways of thinking?

Again, I hear "Count it all joy when you fall into various trials."

For it is in the testing of our faith that we gain patience ... endurance ... perseverance ... and God is with us.

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"Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will direct your paths." - Proverbs 3:5-6