“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.” James 1:2-4 ESV
This was a rough week. Friday was a rough day. Nothing in particular happened, was just a rough go of things. Work was challenging, but not in a good way (mostly personalities). And it seems everyone was having a bit of a time managing.
I open my Bible and said: Dear Lord, What do you have for when we are having a rough week?
And LOOK! He has joy.
I am thankful that it wasn’t more of a trial. I am thankful I relied on God this week. I am not yet perfect and complete – but God isn’t finished with me.
“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 1:5-8 ESV
Well, well – isn’t this ripe! Exactly what I need.
Lord, give me wisdom to manage the situations at work.
Oh wait there is more – with no doubting. I can believe He’ll give me wisdom. I believe He will help me through that.
But I sit here with my bible and my laptop and I am hurrying to write this out – because a terrible storm is coming! The weather man said damaging winds and tornados. I am charging my phone pulled out the candles and lighter expecting to lose power. Some of the siding blew off my house in the last bad wind storm and I fear the loss of more siding. I have prayed that God would calm this storm. I have asked my friends to pray with me. Yet I have no faith in my siding. I suppose it is good not to have faith in siding and I should have faith in God!
While in a little boat, in a sea, a big storm came and Jesus told the storm (wind and waves) to calm – and it did. Jesus command the weather. I am ashamed of my wavering faith over such a small thing that I know he can do. I am believing Him for some pretty big things yet find myself weak over this little thing.
And the book of James continues with…
“Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass he will pass away. For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.” James 1:9-11
Humility. And that is a recurring word lately. With all of our prayers against this pandemic and all of our prayers for our governor here in NY – I have seen so many people talk about Him needing to be humbled. I can’t help but think – maybe he isn’t the only one. This was actually the word, “Humility”, that I was going to study today.
As we catch fire for Christ it is easy to become overly confident – forgetting ourselves in a sense. Maybe a spirit of “Look how much I have grown” – forgetting it is God who has grown in us! We need to walk with the Lord in humility.
“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. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” James 1:12-15
This week I was tempted to slack a bit at work – justifying this thought – thinking on it. How easy it would be to get away with it. Working from home and in the middle of a project that should take me a long time, no one will ever know. Yet, Jesus knows and said we should work as if we are working for God Himself! I admit, I made my week rougher by thinking about it until I gave into it. I have apologized and repented. I did pass some tests this week – but the ones I have not passed have made me more aware of the growth I still need.
“Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.” James 1:16-18
And his disciple and guidance is a beautiful gift. So is my work situation and my boss; yep, gifts from God.
Actually the pending storm is a gift from God as it brings in the warmer temperatures. And my house with loose siding is a gift from God – He gives it, if He takes away the siding, it is His will – His plan. He will provide a way to make the needed repairs as He promised He will provide for my needs!
“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.” James 1:19-21
If I had this verse implanted this week, so many of my troubles might have been eased. Quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger. Oh I heard and didn’t listen well enough and made a fool of myself – then asked for the opportunity to fix it before anyone else knew and was told no. Oh I was quick to speak! I made myself so worked up with blablablabla…. I should have just shut up. Man I was angry! It’s not fair! (I suppose it I just did it her way to begin with I wouldn’t be in this situation. And this pattern seemed to repeat itself each day with one or more of these being violated by me. I had forgotten this is a gift from God. If I obeyed this verse, the trials may not have been there.
“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 who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.” James 1:22-25
Sigh – if only I had been a bit more of a doer this week.
“If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” James 1:26-27
Well, I would not say my tongue was unbridled. I think I hid my temper tantrum well. I kept up the appearances. But Jesus saw me. I was not justified – considering I hid my actions should be proof enough that I was in the wrong.
Hopefully, I pass the next time.
Thank you Lord for working on me! Help me be a doer of the word! Let my actions glorify you! And thank you for the joy that comes with this – the joy of learning and growing – the joy of knowing you love me and that is why you work on me. And thank you Lord for this word – at just the right moment.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!
~Grace be with you ~
~Thank you for reading ~ Be healthy and blessed ~
~ Pray for our nation ~ Pray Psalm 91 ~