Wednesday, December 10, 2014
"Count it all joy"
“My friends, consider yourselves fortunate when all kinds of trials come your way, for you know that when your faith succeeds in facing such trials, the result is the ability to endure. Make sure that your endurance carries you all the way without failing, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
But if any of you lack wisdom, you should pray to God, who will give it to you; because God gives generously and graciously to all. But when you pray, you must believe and not doubt at all. Whoever doubts is like a wave in the sea that is driven and blown about by the wind. If you are like that, unable to make up your mind and undecided in all you do, you must not think that you will receive anything from the Lord.”
-- James 1:2-7 Today’s English Version
Today’s devotional led me to James 1:2-8, which I read in the New King James version. Perhaps this is where the Lord was leading me, which I didn’t see, couldn’t see, and only see now because it is there in black and white.
The trials have certainly been there, but I did not consider it fortunate for being in the midst of them. I did not understand what it was God was showing me, what I was to learn. It was all hidden from me.
What I see now is I need to remain faithful to the Lord and keep my focus on Him and not everything around me, whether it pertains directly or indirectly to me or to someone else. I have opinions, as does everyone, but that does not mean I need to express them every time. I’m supposed to learn patience.
The testing produces patience. So far, the testing has produced frustration, irritation, anger. So, I’ve failed. Yet, for all my failures, I still seek guidance, and God still hands it out without complaint.
He still wants the best for His children.
There will be other trials, other occasions for me to persevere and endure and hopefully come out on top, with the Lord pleased and not filled with dismay.
To be like Jesus … more and more – that is what we pursue. He who is perfect and complete, He who endured the cross and persevered with all of whom He came into contact.
He is patient, and I am not.
But I can ask of God … I can ask for wisdom, for discernment, for fruitfulness.
I can ask and believe He will give me what I seek. Without belief, there is only doubt. When doubt sets in, uncertainty grows with leaps and bounds, and we forget where our loyalties lie.
We forget it is God who is in control. It is not me or you. No matter how much we think we can do, we can’t really do anything without Him. And that includes the gift or fruit of patience given to His followers by the Holy Spirit.
(c) Cathy Orrick Luders