Day 2 | Forty Days with God
James 1: 1-12
This one was kind of difficult for me because of the number of verses and all the different areas they touch on. Some of the verses had more of an impact than the others for me and I was led to deal with them.
James, a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad: Greetings. My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. 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. Verses 1-5
‘Count it all joy’ might make perfect sense when the test or trial is minor but when you’re in the middle of a devastating or traumatic event, it doesn’t. When my first grandchild died, not only did it not make sense to me, it was insulting. My grief did not allow me to see, feel or understand anything beyond the pain and anger. Actually rage is a better description and I was literally blinded by it. I really believe that if someone had told me my faith was being tested and ‘count it all joy,’ I would still in prison right now for strangling them. As far as I was concerned the ‘test’ was cruel and I would never have cause to be joyful again.
I suffered a loss of faith. I had no patience and I couldn’t pray for the spiritual wisdom or growth I could have received. Nor could I pray for the comfort and strength I so desperately needed because most of the anger I felt was directed at God and I stopped speaking to Him when that baby drew her last breath.
I couldn’t use my journal to get the pain and anger out of me and onto the page because after I wrote her obituary, I stopped writing. (For eight years!) I think on some level I was refusing the gift God gave me. Instead of running to God, I ran from Him. I ran from His comfort, His love and the healing He had for me.
Instead of leaving me out there walking around in a fog of grief, Jesus came after me and He was relentless in His pursuit. One of His flock was loss and He was determined to find me and lead me back. When He said He’d never let me go, He meant it. He stalked me until He wore me down and giving Him my back was no longer an option. When I finally stopped running and turned around, Jesus embraced me, His love filled me and healing began.
When you’re in a place of torment, trust Him.
But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. Let the lowly brother glory in his exaltation, but the rich in his humiliation, because as a flower of the field he will pass away. For no sooner has the sun risen with a burning heat than it withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beautiful appearance perishes. So the rich man also will fade away in his pursuits. Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. (Verses 6- 12)
I may ponder verses 6-12 in another post, but for now I’m done.
Tomorrow: Day 3 | The Truth Of Temptation | James 1:13-18