Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Practical Advice From James 1

I have received a devotional in my email inbox for many years that has been a major source of encouragement for me.  I will post devotionals that speak to me here.

I am ashamed to admit that my first response to difficulties is often frustration.  When difficulties come, I want to fix things.  Quickly.

James, the half-brother of Jesus, has a different viewpoint.  Quite countercultural, actually:

Dear brothers and sisters of faith, when troubles come your way, don't fight them.  Receive them as an opportunity for great joy.  Your faith only grows when tested.  The more intense the testing, the greater your endurance grows.  So let it grow!
-- (James 1.  I have taken the liberty to paraphrase)

This doesn't mean I am to do nothing.  But it does mean that my _attitude_ is to be different.  As I continue to work on the issues, in parallel I let go of my inner thrashing, and allow God to work his perfect plan.

Coffee/tea thought: Father, it's very difficult for me to _let_go_ of some issues I'm dealing with!  To be honest, I really want everything to work out _my_ way.  But I choose today to believe and act on the _truth_ that _your_ way is perfect.  (Psalm 18.30)

John