Tag: count it joy

Trials and faithfulness

Scripture reading for October 5th: James 1

Key Scriptures: James 1: 2-8 “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, Who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 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. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”

James was the half-brother of Jesus and the pastor of the church in Jerusalem. He was a man of prayer and some commentators say had the nickname of “camel knees” from spending time in prayer. As he wrote this letter to the church, James encouraged the believers to embrace trials of various kinds. He knew that this was part of being a follower of Christ and that these trials, if properly embraced, would produce spiritual growth in faithfulness and patience. During these trials, believers were encouraged to pray to God for wisdom and to expect answers from a Father Who would give generously to those having faith. He warned them about doubting and being double-minded. This would not bring steadfastness, but instability and a tossing and turbulence to life liken to that of a wave of the sea in a strong wind. His Mentor was his brother, Jesus Christ!

James 1: 12 “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.”

Faith confession and prayer: Father God, forgive me for not counting it all joy when life’s various trials come. Fill me with fresh wisdom to discern Your plan and purpose in each trial and to grow in faithfulness and Christ’s character. Thank You for Your generosity in giving wisdom to those who will humbly ask for it. I desire the crown of life for me and those I love!

James 1:19 “Know this, my beloved brothers (and sisters): be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.”

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Willing to die for Christ Jesus!

Scripture reading for June 3rd:  Acts 21, Psalm 110, Proverbs 17

Key Scriptures:  Acts 21:10-13 “While we were staying for many days, a prophet named Agabus come down from Judea.  And coming to us, he took Paul’s belt and bound his own feet and hands and said, “Thus says the Holy Spirit, ‘This is how the Jews at Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.'”  When we heard this, we and the people there urged him not to go up to Jerusalem.  Then Paul answered, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart?  For I am ready not only to be imprisoned but even to die in Jerusalem for the Name of the Lord Jesus.””

Paul had had many warnings of coming imprisonment.  God always prepares His own for what is ahead and His Presence guides them through the storms and trouble.  We naturally want to protect our loved ones from suffering or trials.  God’s people count it all joy when the trials come, knowing that the testing of their faith brings endurance and helps complete Christ’s work in others and us.

Faith Confession:  Lord, thank You for this record of Paul’s faith confession that encourages me to stand true to You no matter what the consequences.  I trust You for grace sufficient to each trial in my life.

Psalm 110:3 “Your people will offer themselves freely on the day of Your power, in holy garments; from the womb of the morning, the dew of your youth will be yours.”  

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Temptations, trials and faith!

Scripture reading for November 17th: James 1:1-18

I don’t know about you, but I find it hard to count it joy when a trial of my faith comes my way.  There is something in each person that would prefer good times, pleasure, and the easy life.  But inside of us, there is also a desire for adventure and excitement that comes from entering into the unknown.  I am learning how to embrace God’s plan for my own life and to ‘consider it pure joy’ when I face the inevitable trials.  Well, maybe my joy isn’t too pure yet!

“Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.  When tempted, no one should say “God is tempting me.”  For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone, but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.  Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown gives birth to death.” (James 1:12)  We will be blessed if we stand firm in a trial.  God will reward those who stay true with a crown of eternal life.

One of the temptations in a trial or test is to blame God.  James reassures us that God is holy and is not capable of evil or of tempting anyone.  The source of temptation is found in our own flesh and it’s desires.  We are first enticed by the lusts of our eyes or flesh and then when we yield, we are dragged away by sin.  It is likened to a pregnancy that comes from an act of passion.  Conception takes place, and when the sin-baby is full grown, it bring us death.  (Romans 6:23)

But we shouldn’t allow our flesh to entice us!  The good gifts we desire really come from God in the promises of His word.  He has good plans for His children.  His gifts are all good and he has chosen to give us birth through His word.  If we will put our faith in Him, He will bring us through all trials and tests.  He is the ‘Father of Lights’ who is faithful to shine His love into our lives through every trial.

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