Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Trials = Joy?

This morning I was talking with my mother about my day yesterday.  It started out wonderful.  I had a thankful heart which made me joyful.  I was happy and the world seemed so bright and beautiful.

Then, about noon or so some things happened that left me upset and feeling knocked down but I climbed right back up and things were good again... then, it happened again!  It was a little harder to get back up that time and I didn't quite make it to where I had been...  Then the bottom fell out and I didn't really recover to well.

As I was telling my mother about this I remembered something that I had read in one of Lysa Terkeurst's books, "When you go to a new level with God, you get a new devil."  Wow, that's what I was feeling.  Things were going so beautifully and then a force unknown to me was trying to drag me down and make me miserable... unfortunately I think perhaps it won with me last night. But I woke up trying to put things back together but it wasn't like  yesterday at all.

Then a few minutes ago, I read an email.  I get these emails every couple of weeks and honestly lately I haven't been reading them but this morning for some reason I did and I'm so glad.  It's called Proverbs 31 To Encourage You!  It's not the other Proverbs31 site, this is just a woman who I think homeschools that writes the occasional devotion and emails it out.  Anyway, the scripture in it was James 1:6-8.

"But ask in faith, never doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind; for the doubter, being double-minded and unstable in every way, must not expect to receive anything from the Lord"

It really made think.  Do I pray with doubt?  If so then how can I expect my prayers to be answered?

After reading this I went and just read about the book of James and about James himself.  It was very interesting.    Then I went to read the scripture in context and Wow.  It was even better!  lol  Sometimes I can be a little slow.

Several things struck me....

In reading about the book of James in my Bible (The Wesley Study Bible) I came upon this quote from the second -century Espistle to Diognetus, "Christians.... live in their respective countries, but only as resident aliens; they participate in all things as citizens, and they endure all things as foreigners.  Every foreign territory is a homeland for them, every homeland foreign territory" (5:1-14)  Isn't that interesting?  I thought so.  I had read it aloud and DD was sitting here listening and she said, "Hmm, Christians are foreigners even in their own countries."  I made a comment about our homeland not being our real homeland and then asked her where she thought our real homeland was and she looked at me like I was crazy and said, "Heaven."  I could the silent "DUH!" in my head.  lol 

Then the Life Application Topic:

"In James, faith is a set of specific practices -  engendered in the congregation -  that make disciples walk in a different direction than the world's way.  In the contemporary church, being a Christian is often presented as a technique for happiness and prosperity, a helpful way of getting what we want.  In James, Christians suffer because they follow Jesus - God's divine Yes.  In much of the church, salvation is something that you believe or feel.  In James, salvation is when you talk and walk like Jesus.  Though Jesus is mentioned only twice (1:1; 2:1), James exemplifies the communal, congregational, practical consequences when a congregation dares to obey the One who commanded, "Follow me.""

I found this interesting as well.  Then I read the verses before the ones in the devotion.

James 1:1-5

"James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ.  To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion:

Greetings,  My brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance; and let endurance have it's full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing.
If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given you."  Now go back up and reread the scripture above.

Hmm.... so I'm thinking that those "trials" yesterday that kind of messed with my day were actually JOY.  I was receiving the lesson of "endurance."  I also think that I need a little more faith and a lot less doubting.   That's what I'll be working on for now.  Less doubting and seeing the JOY in the trials that come my way.

1 comment:

  1. Sorry about your day yesterday... I did not mean to make you have so many ups and downs. I love you.