Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Some "Joyful" Thoughts

"Be joyful always;
pray continually;
give thanks in all circumstances,
for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
I Thes. 5:16-18

A sweet reminder from a dear friend...

I was also reading James recently, and felt a little (okay, a lot) convicted
when I read verses 2-8 of chapter one.
This is sometimes hard to swallow, but it is from God's Word
-- so let's swallow it together:
 {Red notes are handwritten sermon notes from the margins of my Bible.}

James 1:2-8
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers,
whenever you face trials (inner moral conflicts) of many kinds,
because you know that the testing (proving) of your faith develops perseverance.
Perseverance must finish its work
(never completely finished, just a "stage" completed)
so that you may be mature and complete ("perfect"), not lacking anything.
If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God,
who gives generously to all without finding fault,
and it will be given to him.
But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt,
because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea (getting nowhere),
blown and tossed by the wind.
That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord;
he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does."

#1 ooh! Convicted! ~ "when he asks, he must believe and not doubt"
#2 ooh! Convicted! ~ "That man" (who asks, doubting) "should not think he will receive anything from the Lord."

Do you always ask believing?  I'm going to go out on a limb here (they say that's where the FRUIT is!), and tell you that sometimes when I bring a concern before the Lord, I'm bringing it because I've exhausted all of my own efforts.  So, in essence, I'm saying: "Here it is Lord.  I'm finally bringing it to YOU because I can't seem to do anything about it, and therefore, it must be HOPELESS."  Wow - that's pretty magnanimous of me, huh?  Yep.  These verses convicted me for sure.  At that point, I don't think I'm really believing that God can do anything about it either.  Another lie fed to me by you-know-who.  (And, can I just say: one that can really suck the "joy" out of your day!)

I've got some "big ticket items" on my prayer list lately, and I'm just going to hand them all over right now.  I don't think God wants me to exhaust my efforts, and then give everything to Him.  What do YOU think?

1 comment:

  1. These passages in James have always been some of my favorites. Anytime trouble comes knocking, these scriptures seem to help. Oh yes, we often try to handle things our own way and then call on God when we can't fix things ~~ always! Faith! We must ask God and know He is listening and has our best interest in mind.

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