THE HOLY BIBLE (The Living Bible – James 1:2-4): 2 Dear brothers, is your life full of difficulties and temptations? Then be happy, 3 for when the way is rough, your patience has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, and don't try to squirm out of your problems. For when your patience is finally in full bloom, then you will be ready for anything, strong in character, full and complete.
THOUGHTS: I believe that most of us reading these verses today will conclude that our patience, or endurance, must be nearing maturity now, because of the extent of our difficulties over recent months and years! Friends, James has really reminded us (Christians) to do just the opposite to what we are tempted to do, under the power of the One we claim as our Master and Lord. Think about it, we are most apt to cry "poor me" when things are not going our way. When our faith is tempted, we tend to question why God wasn't there for us during the time we were so weak. BUT meditate closely on what James is teaching us to do in these verses, for he, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, instructs us to be happy in these cases, because we are seeing evidence that God is developing us, or maturing us in our faith. This most often comes at a time where God knows that there are bigger things ahead where we will need the increased endurance or patience. It comes at a time where it will be obvious to sinners that the only thing accountable for our endurance/patience must be the bold work of the Savior working in and through us. So friends, let us especially stand firm to our faith and, in what appears to be, the weakest times of our lives. Let it be obvious to others that our strength is coming from a much higher source that anything we could do in and of ourselves. Let us be ready to brag on God – give Him the glory for all that is accomplished in us. As Christians, 'good luck' should hardly be in our vocabulary, for we should never depend on it. Our strength, our guidance, our endurance, our patience, our power to overcome or say 'no' when tempted to do wrong – all of it comes from the God we serve. The God that we ask to protect us and help us to be overcomers, strengthened by His hand for the benefit of everything, and everyone, that follows. I believe that our motto must be: 'Know God, Know peace. No God, no peace'! It's all about our Savior friend, we have no power without Him!
PRAYER: What a blessed man I am to have such a Savior to watch over me and strengthen my walk, even in what appears to be life's toughest times. 'Who am I' Thank you gracious heavenly Father for allowing it all to start at the cross. For while we were yet sinners, You sent Your only Son as a sacrifice so that we could be saved from this wicked world that could only destine us for Hell. However, because I (and many others who will meditate on this today) surrendered our lives to You, we were received by You, and now fit into the category of persons that James taught about. Thank You Father for the assurance of knowing that You care, and that Your promise to be with us through every 'storm of life' is very real. How can I possibly say 'thanks' adequately for such a Savior, and Your amazing love for me? Lord, please use me as Your instrument to spread that love, and to show it in every aspect of my life, so that unbelievers might be introduced to the King of Love today. Because trials and temptation still come, I am convinced that You are not finished with me yet, so I thank You for Your ongoing work in my life. May the results of Your work always serve to encourage someone else towards a decision to accept You as their Savior, is my humble plea. I ask all this in the gracious name of Jesus, my Savior, AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or read through Biblical truths on How To Know Jesus, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day's devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!
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